If you are getting an HVAC system – whether it be brand new, installed in your home, or buying a home with an existing HVAC – there are some questions you’ll need to ask during the process to make sure you are getting quality. Here are some of the HVAC questions to ask during the buying process so you don’t end up with buyer’s remorse.
How Old Is This HVAC Model?
Usually, this is only a question to ask yourself if you are buying a home with an existing HVAC system, since the lifespan of an HVAC is typically 10-15 years. You’ll need to know how soon you’ll need to replace it if you are towards the end of that lifespan.
However, if you are buying a new system, it’s important to ask your dealer what’s has been innovated recently with the model you are looking to purchase. A new HVAC has a full life ahead of it, but you may not want to purchase something with 5-year-old technology if there have been improvements made since.
Does The Manufacturer Of The HVAC System Have A Good Reputation?
This is a key question to ask because you want to make sure you are buying from a brand you trust. If the manufacturer has a long history of well-made products and has made a name for itself in the business, then you can be sure you are getting quality. However, it’s good to also make sure they have a good warranty and check what that warranty covers. Some companies will guarantee the product works for years – or even the typical lifespan of the HVAC. Do they come out and fix it for free or just replace the part for free? Do you need to get regular maintenance checks from a certified dealer to keep your warranty valid?
A brand with a good reputation will set your mind at ease that you are getting a good value in the product that you pick.
What Are The Comfort Options?
With every product there is a good, better and best option – and HVACs are no different. The comfort options of an HVAC system are what sets them apart in each category. You pay more as your comfort options improve. ACs and furnaces can come with basic cycles (the "good" option) – called single stage heating or cooling. That’s the most common way an HVAC system works – your furnace or AC turns off and on within a couple of degrees to where you set your thermostat. You can hear it kick on and then feel the air through your vents, then once it reaches your ideal setting, it shuts off, and then the cycle continues.
The "better" option with a furnace is two-stage or multistage heating, where the system gives you a more consistent steady heat by using two different size flames. It cycles more continuously – no off and on – to give you better comfort and is within a degree of your thermostat setting at all times.
The "best" option is called modulating heating and cooling, which is the most even and steady system. According to our expert, Keith Hill, manager of technical support for Minnesota Air, it micro-manages the flame and keeps your home within 0.2 degrees of where your thermostat is set.
What Is The Fuel Efficiency?
Most furnaces can range in efficiency from about 78-96 percent. That’s a big range, so it’s important to know where your product lies on the spectrum. The most efficient HVAC systems are Energy Star certified, meaning they meet U.S. government energy efficiency standards. Some go above and beyond when it comes to efficiency and may even offer rebates or tax breaks for purchasing that product.
What Is The Cost?
Finally, cost is significant to many people when deciding what to buy. However, it’s just as important to know what it will cost you each month to run that HVAC, what it will cost you in repairs and maintenance if you don’t buy quality, what it costs to install, and what kind of comfort you want out of your HVAC system. Much more can go into factoring the value than just the initial price tag.