There are a number of things that need to be done before a new HVAC system can be installed. As these systems are complicated and work along with other parts of your house, you’ll want to make sure that you are clear on what to know about HVAC in general, as well as your own infrastructure before you get started.
Understanding HVAC systems can be complicated, so it will be worth your while to go through the process step by step. You might want to consider watching a HVAC tutorial online. At a minimum, you should take the following measures:
Inspect your home
Before you get started with your new system, there are a number of things you should inspect in your home to make sure you are properly equipped for the new unit:
1. Your thermostat
The lifespan of the average thermostat is 10 years. However, there could be any number of factors that affect your thermostat’s condition and cause it to wear down early. Signs that your thermostat needs to be replaced include the following:
● The temperature is off
If the temperature your thermostat reads is clearly off, there is something wrong with its temperature sensor. The sensor could be malfunctioning or completely dead.
● Your energy bill suddenly goes way up
If you see a sudden spike in your energy bill, it generally means that your system is leaking energy or somehow needing to utilize much more than usual to produce the same effect. Repairs can be costly, so you might want to consider a replacement, instead.
● The system malfunctions completely
If you have difficulties turning the thermostat on and off, it is usually an indication that it is dying and needs to be replaced.
In addition to becoming faulty, your old thermostat might not be as energy-efficient as it could be, simply because better models are coming out all the time. For this reason alone, frequent replacement is a good idea.
2. The ducts in your house
Ducts can easily become leaky. Therefore, it is a good idea to inspect them on a regular basis, and particularly before you install a new home HVAC system.
There are several indications that your ducts are in need of a good cleaning:
● They are obviously clogged
If you inspect your ducts and find a lot of dust (or even more unpleasant substances), it is clearly time to clean them out.
● There are strange smells coming out of them
Unusual odors are an indication that something is wrong with the system. This may or may not indicate leaks, but you should definitely do a thorough inspection if something smells off.
● The air in your house isn’t circulating as it should
Again, this could be the result of a number of different factors, but you should definitely check your ducts in any case to make sure they’re clear.
Finding problems with your ducts doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be replaced. Depending on the degree of damage, the system might just need a simple cleaning or minor repairs. If the damage is widespread, or if they are simply getting old, it may be time for a replacement.
Determine the best location for your new unit
You might think it should be obvious where your new unit will go based upon the location of your old one. However, there are a number of factors to consider in determining where your new unit should go, including the following:
● The size and configuration of your new system
HVAC systems for homes can be diverse in their makeup. Be sure that you are clear on the size relative to your room(s) and where the most efficient air flow will take place.
● Determine the best geographic location for your unit
The best location for an air conditioning unit is generally considered to be the northeast side of your home. This will provide natural shading for your unit while the sun is at its strongest.
● Tuck it away.
It is also suggested that the unit be placed away from where people will likely be most of the time. If the unit becomes noisy or otherwise bothersome, it will be better for everyone in the house if it’s in an unused room.
Determine the best size unit for your home
Experts believe that there should be a specific ratio involved in determining the size of your unit, depending on the size of your home. For every 500 BTUs (British Thermal Unit, a standard unit of measurement for heat), it is estimated that you will need one ton of air conditioning or heating.
Consider getting an additional purifier
While this isn’t a necessity, many people choose to get an additional air purifier just to keep the air in their homes as fresh as possible. Purifiers help to cleanse the air of viruses and other undesirable substances, and also help to prevent the buildup of mold. The world became much more conscious of the need for clean air during the pandemic and the level of concern is not likely to go away soon.
Figure out your HVAC’s component parts, and how each of them works
Of course, you’ll want to take the time to figure out how your unit functions and what each of its component parts are. Even if you hire a technician to carry out the actual installation for you, you’ll want to be prepared in case something breaks down or you have to perform some sort of maintenance after it’s set up. So read up on your unit and make sure you understand it fully.
Make it official
As this will be a major purchase, you’ll want to fill out an HVAC contract form with the company you buy from. This will keep you covered in case of problems.
If you take the time to familiarize yourself with the process and make sure you’re prepared in advance of your HVAC installation, you should be in good shape to have it fun smoothly and without incident for a long time. Regular inspections are required, but you shouldn’t run into a lot of unexpected issues right away if you take the time to do things right.