Have a dependable home HVAC system is among the fundamentals keeping a comfortable living space. Other than providing shelter for your family, the quality of your living conditions should be part of every homeowner's concern. Home HVAC systems aim at ensuring that the family is living comfortably irrespective of the weather conditions and seasons. For example, during the winter, the family is protected from excessive cold. The same case applies in summer seasons as excess heat is controlled inside the house. Pure Eco Inc helps provide HVAC services to both companies and homeowners. Our company, located in Chatsworth, CA, offers home insulation solutions and HVAC services to homeowners and businesses throughout the Los Angeles area.
What is Home HVAC?
Have you ever come across large air conditioning units on the side of residential homes and top of office buildings? That is part of the HVAC system. Basically, HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. They are used in both private residences and industrial buildings to provide temperature control and indoor comfort for both residents and visitors. They are important in maintaining living conditions, especially for environments that have extreme temperature levels.
Pre-Installation Knowledge for a Homeowner
Most homes are either heated or cooled by an HVAC System. However, the systems act as one of the most expensive and energy-consumption components in a home. For that reason, it is essential to have the prerequisite knowledge on the means of providing a comfortable environment as well as how to have a cost-effective HVAC system.
It is Important to Know the Different Components of a Home HVAC before Installation
Before making an HVAC purchase, it is essential to understand that they are of different types, with different components. One of them is known as Central HVAC, which is also referred to as the “Split system.” It is known as a split system since some of its components are installed inside the house while others are installed outside. Additionally, the installation procedure also differs from one HVAC type to the other.
Some of the components found inside the house are the blowers, furnace, and evaporator. The furnace might be powered by gas, oil, or electricity. The blower serves as both the furnace and the air conditioner. For the HVAC to evenly distribute heat or cool air to different sections and rooms in the house, the blower's are connected to specialized ducts.
From outside the house, different components include the condensers and compressors. They are mounted on different cabinet sizes, depending on the model you decide to purchase. The Cabinet has a huge fan which plays an integral role in the regulation of both cold and warm air.
One of the disadvantages of purchasing a split HVAC system is room space wastage. In case you are sensitive to saving some room space, but still, want to install a home HVAC system, there is one possible alternative. The packaged HVAC system works the same as the split system, but the only difference is installation.
Different from the central HVAC, the packaged HVAC has all its components in one unit and operate from outside the house. In terms of air circulation in the house, they use ducts that move through the walls to different sections in the house.
What are the Important Factors to Consider before Installing a Home HVAC System?
Now that you have understood the different types of HVAC systems, it is important to make different considerations before settling on an HVAC system for your home. Some of the key factors to consider include cost efficiency and energy consumption.
HVAC System’s Efficiency Star Rating
One of the important considerations every homeowner should make when purchasing an HVAC system is the star rating. The HVAC systems are given different ratings depending on their energy consumption. Many companies are coming into the market, which leaves consumers unaware of the right HVAC system worth purchasing. With so many choices, it is hard to determine which will be the right fit for your home. However, with the government approved star rated system, it has become easier to determine the best systems in the market in terms of energy consumption and also affordability in maintenance.
Size and Design
Among the many mistakes, homeowners make while purchasing and installing the HVAC systems is a failure to understand that the system will work effectively only if it is proportionate with the room size. Most people fail to comprehend that having a bigger HVAC does not mean that the house temperature will be well regulated compared to having a smaller version.
Having a large HVAC system compared to the room and house size leads to the system’s wear and tear. In the long run, it becomes expensive in energy consumption, and also maintenance.
It is also important to pay close attention to the thermostat when installing and operating an HVAC system. However, most people decide to install the systems without the help of professional contractors. When homeowners decide to install the system individually, they concentrate more on the air conditioner and furnace, but less attention on the thermostat. A professional contractor, on the other hand, will ensure there are the right settings for the thermostat before the system runs.
A thermostat responsibility is to differentiate different room temperatures automatically. With technology advancement, it has become much easier to set the right temperature settings through wireless devices such as smartphones.
Determine whether the HVAC System uses a Duct or is Ductless
Some HVAC systems operate using a duct while others are ductless. Before purchasing an HVAC, it is vital to consider whether your home has a duct or not. If not, consider purchasing and installing a ductless HVAC system.
Some homeowners insist on purchasing a ducted HVAC. For such users, it is important to ensure that the house has ducts available. For homeowners with ducted houses and prefer using a ducted HVAC, it is important to ensure proper repairs are made on the ducts to reduce any chances of leaks, which might reduce the quality of HVAC performance.
What are some of the Basic HVAC Installation Procedures?
Before individually installing the HVAC system, it is wise to ensure that there is a professional contractor there to reduce the chances of damaging the system. Individual installation might lead to damaging of the cooling system, which in most cases becomes complicated or expensive to repair.
Most people become comfortable installing the HVAC systems individually since they have done it before. However, they fail to understand that the installation procedures vary from one air conditioning system to the other. Although some have clear guidelines on the installation procedures, it is vital to seek professional advice from a licensed contractor. However, the following is the basic installation procedure for an HVAC system:
- Ensure that you meet all the legal installation requirements. Some local governments require that permits are awarded before installing HVAC systems. In case you decide to use a contractor, they have the responsibility of taking care of such paperwork on your behalf.
- If all the legal requirements are met, you have to take apart the existing HVAC system in case it is not your first time installing one.
- For the first time installers, ensure that your house is well ducted. For the ones replacing the HVAC system, ensure that the ducts are in good condition. That means they should not have any leaks. In case they are in poor condition, it is advisable to ensure they are either replaced or repaired.
- The installation site should be well prepared. Site preparation involves setting up a concrete pad or rooftop support for the outdoor HVAC unit.
- Position your new outdoor unit correctly. Make sure it is well installed and secured on the site.
- For those replacing their air handlers, it is advisable to replace both indoor and outdoor components at the same time. If the indoor system is working perfectly, you can decide only to change the external unit.
- Among the important steps in the entire installation procedure involves connecting both the indoor and outdoor system components, especially when using a split system. Important considerations have to be made before making the connections. Ensure you have comprehensive knowledge of the electrical line sizes, drain piping, and refrigeration lines. Failure to incorporate the necessary steps and sizes will lead to an efficient HVAC system.
- The thermostat is connected to a split HVAC system. For new HVAC installers ensure you use a new thermostat. For the ones replacing, you can continue using the existing thermostat, only if it is in perfect condition.
- Remove any form of contaminants from the refrigerant lines, and ensure it is charged with refrigerants.
- You can now power and start using the newly installed HVAC system.
- Before getting comfortable, it is advisable to involve a licensed professional contractor in inspecting the newly installed air conditioning system, to ensure that all installation procedures were followed and no errors were made.
Home HVAC Maintenance
Now that you have already installed the air conditioning system in your home, it is vital to have regular maintenance activities. Just like any other machine, the HVAC is prone to breakdown or malfunction. Regular checkup aids in reducing the increasing costs of repair in case of a problem, and also maintain its service quality.
Are there any Safety Considerations During Home HVAC Maintenance Procedures?
Lack of maintenance pauses to be a high safety risk for the homeowners. For example, most people would ignore a small crack noticed at the furnace. However, that is a life-threatening scenario since carbon monoxide from the furnace might be leaking in your living room. It is therefore essential to have a carbon monoxide detector, in addition to constantly performing maintenance services to the HVAC system.
What are the Best Maintenance Practices for a Home HVAC System?
Since there is evidence that a lack of proper maintenance procedures can be life-threatening, and also costly for the homeowner, it is also important to understand that different components require different maintenance activities.
- Frequently change the Air Filters
When was the last time you replace your HVAC air filter? Most homeowners ignore that step either out of ignorance, or lack of sufficient knowledge of how an HVAC system works. The primary function of an air filter is to clean the air that is forced into the system.
Lack of constant maintenance leads to an accumulation of dust in the furnace, making it less efficient. Without having such consideration, the system might end up failing to perform effectively or demanding expensive replacements. It is recommended that a homeowner should replace the air filter at least once every three months.
- Have your Thermostat Regularly Inspected
A thermostat is one of the most valuable and important parts of an HVAC system. It has the final say on the desired room temperature in your house. Moreover, it is also one of the most complicated parts of a home HVAC system. For that reason, it is important to seek professional services when examining the effectiveness of your system’s thermostat.
Another essential point to consider is the difference in the maintenance service required for the different types of HVAC thermostats. Currently, there are two major types of thermostats, which include manual and automatic. Each of them has been programmed to run differently. Only the professional HVAC contractors can be familiar with the difference in their functionality.
- Ensure that all Moving Parts are Lubricated
Although it is an exercise that is left for the professionals, it can also be done individually. Poorly lubricated parts require much energy to move effectively. Considering the duration the HVAC system is required to run annually, additional energy costs continue accumulating, and in the long run, it becomes very expensive for the homeowner. It is important to constantly check the system’s moving parts and check on the lubrication requirements.
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