After a hard winter when the heating system has underperformed, it’s natural to think about how you’re going to cope when the weather turns colder again. An aging heating system is also likely to be inefficient, which means that you will be paying more for your energy. This adds insult to injury because no-one wants to pay more money for poor performance. For these reasons, many homeowners decide to install a new heating system, but it’s tempting to save money on the installation costs. This is a false economy. It’s always a better decision to choose a professional heating installation, as we will demonstrate in this article.
The DIY Ethos and HVAC Work
In recent decades we have seen a resurgence in the development of various DIY skills. This is encouraging, there are small jobs you can complete, and if you’re confident in your skills, you can tackle an entire home remodeling project. But, there are certain tasks that should not be handled by a DIY enthusiast, and HVAC engineering is one of them. The primary concern on any project should be safety for you and everyone else affected by your work. When you work on an HVAC system, it can have a dramatic effect on your home comfort levels. Additionally, working with electricity or gas always carries a certain risk. A certified HVAC specialist has undergone formal training to ensure that they can work on this complex equipment safely.
Formal HVAC Training
So, what does formal HVAC engineering training cover? Well, most HVAC technicians are trained to the North American Technical Excellence or NATE standard. This is the absolute minimum standard of certification that you should be looking for when you hire someone to work on your HVAC equipment. Let’s face it, heating and cooling systems are not cheap, you want them to last, and you need to be picky when you consider an installation, repair, or servicing. Many HVAC companies also have their own in-house training programs to ensure that their technicians are ready to work on a wide variety of equipment. But, as good as the training may be, it isn’t worth much if it isn’t backed up with plenty of relevant experience.
A Good Track Record
If you hire an HVAC company that hasn’t been in business long or a “handyman”, you may be disappointed with the standard of their work. It is true that everyone has to start somewhere, but do you really want to pay for substandard work on your home? Always choose a company that has a proven track record and a great reputation for customer service. If you had a heating system installed cheaply, but you cannot get hold of the installer when something goes wrong, it starts to look like a bad investment. In the HVAC business, experience and a good reputation is everything, and these traits are hard won. When you search for an HVAC company, check how long they have been in business and look at some reviews. Make sure they have a physical location you can visit, and don’t be afraid to ask for some testimonials. Finally, you need to ensure that your installer has plenty of insurance coverage in case something goes wrong. An HVAC installation is a complicated process, and even a licensed and trained specialist can make an occasional mistake.
High Quality Work
The entire process of installing your new heating and/or cooling system is complex and disruptive. So, it’s important to hire qualified and certified professionals to get the job done right the first time. That being said, there is a bedding-in period for a new HVAC system, and adjustments may be required after the installation is complete. This is why it’s important to hire a company that will respond to your communications as needed. Another key aspect of an HVAC installation is that the process will have a direct effect on the efficiency of your system. So, you could invest a lot of money into your HVAC system, and the potential performance and efficiency gains could be ruined by a bad installation. Choosing an amateur to install your heating and cooling equipment may seem like a good idea, but it could cost you a lot more in the medium to long term.
A Professional Load Calculation
Many people make a critical mistake when they purchase their new heating or cooling system. They simply buy the largest system that they can afford because bigger is always better, right? No, this is a terrible idea; any HVAC system must be carefully matched to the characteristics of your home. Matching equipment in this way is accomplished with a complex set of equations, which are referred to as a load calculation.
If your HVAC system is too small for your home, it will run constantly and consume a great deal of energy. If the system is too large, it will cool or heat the spaces too quickly, which will confuse the sensors in the thermostat. This will cause the equipment to turn on and off again quickly that is known as short cycling. Short cycling is inefficient, but it also causes considerable strain on your equipment leading to failures.
There are free tools available online that can accomplish a load calculation for you. All you need to do is input the dimensions of your home, and the tool will tell you the size of HVAC system you need. But, there is a problem with this; basing a load calculation purely on square footage of your home is a flawed approach that yields inaccurate results. There are many other factors that can affect the size of the system that you need, including drafts, insulation levels, the orientation of the home, and many others. If you want to maximize the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment, you need a load calculation from an HVAC specialist.
If you’re in the market for a new heating or cooling system, contact your local certified HVAC specialist today. We can perform an accurate load calculation for you and help you to choose a system to meet all your heating and cooling needs.