Replacing your Home’s air conditioner, heat pump or furnace can make a world of difference in your comfort on hot summer days and brisk winter nights. No matter how advanced the new system is we never assume the old existing unit was the proper capacity. Correct selection and HVAC installation are essential to ensure your equipment can reach its maximum energy efficiency and lifespan. Enjoy lower energy bills, avoid premature wear, and breakdowns.
Proper system size affects both energy consumption and comfort. Too small and the system won’t have the capacity to keep you cool on the hottest days. Too big and you’ll have temperature swings, hot and cold spots, lingering humidity, and high energy bills.
To determine the optimal size for your system, your technician will first follow the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA’s) Manual J to calculate your home’s heating and cooling load. Manual J requires collecting data on your home and lifestyle.
Even though most building codes require these calculations, some contractors skip Manual J, which often results in oversized equipment selection.
After Manual J, the contractor should follow the ACCA’s Manual S for Residential Equipment Selection. Manual S selects the best equipment for each home. Many installation services leave out Manual J and S calculations to have a lower sales price, but the result for the consumer is less comfort and higher power bills.
Optimal Duct Performance
Your equipment relies on your home’s ductwork to deliver conditioned air to each room. Money spent improving and correcting the duct system will enhance comfort and increase long-term savings. To ensure your duct system design and size are optimal, your contractor will use the ACCA’s Manual D.
Finally, the contractor will inspect your system to ensure it is airtight. Leaky ducts are common and can waste up to 30 percent of your conditioned air, cause humidity, rot, and higher power bills. Ductwork leaks can be sealed with duct mastic or heat-safe tape.
Precise Refrigerant Charge
For optimal performance, each air conditioner or heat pump requires an exact amount of refrigerant. A system with a low refrigerant charge will suffer from reduced cooling capacity, low energy efficiency and compressor wear.
Too much refrigerant causes incorrect operating pressures and refrigerant “slugging,” which can destroy your compressor. A responsible contractor will check the refrigerant charge after installation. Although this increases HVAC installation costs somewhat, it will reduce power bills.
Your system’s outdoor condenser unit needs sufficient space around it to release the heat it receives from your home. In most cases, the manufacturer’s installation instructions state the required clearance distances. Your contractor should use good judgment and make sure the unit is installed clear of your roof or eaves to prevent; rain runoff and in cold climates prevent snow or ice from falling on the condenser.
Following these principles will ensure your new HVAC system performs at maximum efficiently, while keeping your family comfortable.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about contractor quotes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.
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