When you are facing an air conditioning or heating system replacement in your Jacksonville home, there are some things that you can expect a well qualified HVAC contractor to take into consideration.
1. Carbon monoxide gas can come from other sources than a cracked heat exchanger.
Any combustion powered appliance can be a source of CO2 leaks. Ovens, dryers, water heaters, and other gas burning appliances can be sources of CO2 leaks. Having a carbon monoxide detector installed is a necessity. HVAC contractors should test all avenues of CO2 leaks and make certain that any gas burning appliance is properly installed and vented.
2. How the ducts are installed is important.
Improper installation of duct systems can reduce the efficiency, or even cause equipment failure. Air ducts should be run in such a way as to avoid contact with electrical or plumbing lines run through the same space as the ducts. When a HVAC system is installed, it is important to perform a load calculation. It is possible in some cases, that if you have made improvements to the insulation and overall airtightness of the house that existing ducts would need to be replaced. The load balancing test will help the HVAC contractor determine what size ducts are needed for the home. When the ductwork is installed, it should be sealed to reduce leaks. Undersized ducts can cause back pressure to build up, and make the blower work harder. This can cause premature failure of the HVAC system. When installing a new HVAC system with existing ductwork, even if it is the appropriate size, the ducts should be tested for air leakage.
3. Ignoring the potential for energy savings for the whole house.
Many older homes, built before the widespread use of air conditioning weren’t designed to be airtight. Air moving through the home was often a desired quality, especially in the summer time. This was central to the cooling system in place, which normally consisted of having windows opened at both ends of the house, drawing the breeze through the house, cooling it off. Now, houses are designed to minimize the air coming in, or going out of the house. A properly sealed and insulated house can help you save a lot of money on your monthly utility bills.
4. Increased energy efficiency places more emphasis on the ventilation systems.
With the increased emphasis on homes being airtight, in order to conserve energy a new problem has arisen. Fresh air from outside the home does not penetrate the walls. Odors and moisture don’t escape the home. This can significantly reduce indoor air quality. This has been shown to increase allergies and other breathing problems. This is where the ventilation in HVAC comes in. A properly designed mechanical ventilation system provides control for fresh air coming into the home. Previously, ventilation was handled by the small gaps in the structure of the home. This could include areas such as the garage or crawl space. Proper ventilation systems allow for control over where the intake and exhaust breaches the barrier of the walls. This also helps improve the air filtration and conditioning along with removing excess moisture from the air.
5. Size is important when it comes to HVAC equipment for your home.
A HVAC contractor should make certain that the proper sized HVAC system is installed in your home. It used to be that a technician could just follow a pretty simple rule of thumb and judge the size of the system required for the home. However, this isn’t that accurate as every home is shaped differently. The system needs to be appropriately sized in order to have a system that provides heating and cooling for your home in an energy efficient way.
6. The lowest bid isn’t always the best bid.
You should always get multiple bids for work performed on your home. It’s a common but not necessarily good practice to under bid the project and then either cut corners or add on costs after the work is under way. Good work does cost money, but you can still find a HVAC technician that can perform the work properly, without breaking the bank.
7. The house is a system and should be treated as such.
By treating the house as a system, not just a conglomeration of parts, you can tackle energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and home comfort related issues much easier. This approach also helps reduce the amount of noise that comes in from the outside and reduces maintenance costs for the home.
All of these factors should be considered when installing a new HVAC system whether its in a new house, or as a replacement for an existing system. Choosing a knowledgeable contractor to do the work right the first time can save you money in the long term in maintenance and replacement costs. When HVAC contractors keep these things in mind, everyone benefits.