Heating and air systems don’t last forever, even if you buy a top-of-the-line model. Maybe your system isn’t functioning as efficiently as it once did. Whatever the reason, you have plenty of support if you’re ready to buy a new HVAC system this year.
If you’re searching for a new furnace or air conditioner in 2018, it’s important to know the many options now available. Here are some of the most recommended heating and cooling replacement options on the market today.
Over the years, the industry has gradually improved the performance of furnaces, making them not only more environmentally-friendly, but helping homeowners save on utilities. High-efficiency furnaces replace gas-powered pilot lights with an electronic ignition, which eliminates the need for a flame to burn nonstop while the furnace is in operation. Gas furnaces now use two-stage heating and a variable-speed blower to consume less energy without sacrificing homeowner comfort. Finally, today’s furnaces use a second heat exchanger and sealed combustion to extract as little energy from your home as possible, allowing you to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home throughout the cold winter months.
High-Efficiency Air Conditioners
When looking for a high-efficiency air conditioning unit, it’s important to pay close attention to the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. The higher the number, the more efficient your new unit will be. Today’s air conditioners use high-efficiency motors, as well as a heat exchange surface area to keep energy use as low as possible. They also are larger in size than traditional air-conditioning units, giving them more space through which to transfer heat to the outside of a building. All modern A/C units are higher in efficiency, since the government requires that equipment maintain a SEER rating of at least 13, with high efficiency starting at a rating of 14.
Boilers heat water to keep an entire home warm during cool weather. By regulatory requirement, boilers must have an efficiency of at least 80 percent, but that percentage can go as high as 98.5 percent. This efficiency rating is known as the annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE), but as the rating increases, so does the cost. A high-efficiency boiler with an 80-percent AFUE rating allows 20 percent of the home’s heat to escape through an area like a chimney, basement, or attic. There are three types of high-efficiency boilers: gas-fired, oil-fired, and electric. Boilers with extreme efficiency are more likely to be worth the expense in an area of the country with long periods of extremely cold temperatures each year.
Ductless Mini-Split Systems
A great deal of energy can be leaked through the ductwork of a home. Ductless mini-split systems eliminate this loss by operating completely without ductwork. There are other benefits to ductless systems, including the ability to separately heat and cool different rooms in a house. They are also easier to install and can be set up with more flexibility than traditional systems. However, the indoor part of the unit can be more unattractive than other types of systems, which makes some people move away from this type of system. Mini-split systems also tend to be much more expensive than other heat and air units, but you may make up for this extra cost during the installation, as well as saving by not having energy leak through the ducts.
If you’re shopping for a new HVAC unit, it’s important to consider the many benefits of today’s equipment. Although in some cases, a more expensive unit can save you long-term, the climate in your area, combined with your own family’s temperature preferences, may not make the extra expense worth it.