Is your HVAC system over 10 years old? Do you find yourself calling for frequent repairs or experiencing some type of malfunction? It’s a good idea to be proactive and have your HVAC inspected by a professional before you have a major setback with your system.
If you’re experiencing uneven temperature throughout your home or notice issues with the quality of your indoor air, it may be time for an upgrade. By replacing an outdated HVAC system with a modern Energy Star-rated model, you will create a more even and comfortable climate in your home. In addition, you may also save hundreds each year on your energy bill while leaving a smaller carbon footprint to help the planet.
In some cases, you may not need to upgrade your whole HVAC system. Sometimes your system may just need to replace low-quality components that decrease its performance. By upgrading certain parts or doing modifications to your current system, it may improve its efficiency and performance.
There is no one solution, each home must be individually evaluated by an HVAC professional who knows how to customize the upgrade.
Start by Assessing Leaks
Before upgrading your whole HVAC system, have an HVAC professional do a comprehensive energy assessment of your home. This complete audit is performed with a blower-door test that pressurizes your home to detect energy leaks.
In some parts of the country, utility companies subsidize the cost of this energy efficiency assessment. Also, some states provide discounts or rebates for installing insulation or completing other work that will make your property more energy efficient.
Starting with this step is a smart decision because your system’s performance could be improved by simply sealing leaks and adding proper insulation. After the assessment, if the heating and cooling professional determines that you do have to replace your whole system, you can get a correctly sized system that offers more efficient performance.
3 Common Upgrades That Improve Your System’s Performance
To help your heating and cooling system achieve its best performance throughout your whole house all year long, there are three upgrades you must inquire about with your HVAC professional.
1. Installing a HEPA Filter
The filter of an HVAC system plays a very important role in providing your family with quality indoor air (QIA). It pulls outdoor air into the system to heat or cool it before it is distributed throughout your home as indoor air. Filters collect unwanted airborne particles such as mold spores, dust, debris, hair, and other compounds that pollute your indoor environment.
This process also protects your HVAC system from being damaged by the accumulation of particles in its components. This is why you must ensure your system has the best quality filter available on the market as not all filters perform well.
The performance of your filter is measured by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. This measuring tool runs from levels 1 to 20, with the highest number meaning the best performance. If a filter performs at a level of 20, it means that it has the best performance at trapping airborne particles.
However, there is a delicate balance since the highest MERV score doesn’t mean it is the best filter. The filter also needs to allow some air to circulate. A filter cannot be so resistant that it blocks air from getting through. Therefore, HVAC professionals recommend a filter that has a MERV score of 5 to 10, which is appropriate for your home’s needs.
Your current heating and cooling system may be easily modified to work with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. This will produce the type of filtration seen in hospitals, which captures 99.97% of airborne particles. These particles can be as small as 0.3 microns (µm), which is enough to protect your family from common airborne pollutants.
If your system cannot be converted to accept a HEPA filter, you may be able to increase your IAQ by installing a whole-home air filter. Your HVAC professional will be able to explore the different options to see what makes sense in your unique case.
2. Assessing Your Ductwork
One of the most important parts of an HVAC inspection is checking your ductwork. Your heating and cooling professional may determine that your unit is working well, but your ductwork is what needs an upgrade for your system to perform efficiently.
Your ductwork is a very important component of your HVAC system. It is where air travels and gets distributed throughout your home. This part of the system is composed of thin metal pipes placed inside the walls, floors, or ceilings that run throughout your entire home to connect the HVAC unit to air vents. This is how the air is delivered around the various rooms inside your property.
Because ductwork is hidden within the interior structures of your home, it is easy to forget about it. It is also not as easy to inspect it in its entirety. Ductwork can become compromised by normal use over time, animals that can make their way into the structure, weather-related incidents that cause damage, and other reasons.
When damaged, air ducts can become loose and disconnected, causing air leaks. This problem decreases the flow of air and causes improper air distribution throughout your home. It is a problem that leads the system to work harder and become less efficient. The problem ultimately leads to higher energy bills and diminished indoor climate comfort.
Another issue that must be considered when inspecting your ductwork is the accumulation of particles that can infiltrate your air ducts. Things such as pest debris, mold, and pollen can make their way into your ductwork and circulate throughout your home. It is a serious matter because these contaminants can lead to severe health conditions.
A modification to your system’s registers is a common solution to prevent airborne particles from entering your indoor environment. In-duct air purifiers can be incorporated to trap these unwanted airborne particles.
3. Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If your system has a manual thermostat, chances are that your system is not energy efficient. A new programmable thermostat communicates with your HVAC unit with precision. It also has a wide variety of custom settings to provide your home with what it needs during scenarios.
For example, you can schedule the desired setting from your device when you’re away from home. This allows you to save energy costs when you are not home and forget to change the temperature setting.
Installing a programmable thermostat also increases the value of your home. Homebuyers look for modern HVAC functions that allow them to save money and enjoy more convenience.
Call Your HVAC Professional for an Upgrade
At 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been helping customers enjoy their HVAC systems for over 20 years. We are committed to achieving 100% satisfaction from all the work we do for our clients. Our team is highly knowledgeable and has extensive experience using state-of-the-art equipment and technology to diagnose and repair all HVAC brands.
If you suspect that your heating and cooling system needs an upgrade, we will begin with a comprehensive assessment of all its components. Our mission is to provide your home with the highest comfort while your system works at maximum energy efficiency. We educate you on all options and help you figure out the most cost-effective approach to your upgrade.
Call 72 Degrees Heating & Air Conditioning for service in Raleigh and surrounding areas to start your upgrade today!