Upgrading Your HVAC System
The shock of skyrocketing utilities bills may have you thinking about upgrading your HVAC system. This is a common thought among many homeowners, and rightly so. Moving forward, there is no chance the fuel costs are going to go down. But the newer heating and air conditioner systems are much more efficient than older units and offer significant long-term energy savings.
Upgrading your HVAC system may be expensive initially. You may face the temptation may be to just install a new high efficiency furnace and air-conditioning system and hope for the best. The fact is, the reduction in utility bills may be disappointing because you may have overlooked a major player in the whole HVAC system.
Leaky Air Ducts
When air ducts leak, conditioned air can be forced out unsealed joints and lost. In addition, un-conditioned air can also be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints. Attic temperatures can be very
high in the summer and cold in the winter. Therefore, any attic air that enters your system through un-sealed duct joints will have to be cooled in the summer and heated in the winter, this increases the
load on your system and increases your energy bill.
A poorly designed, leaking and under insulated ductwork system can waste 30 percent or more of the money you pay to run your heating and cooling system.and nullify any gain you might realize
by upgrading your HVAC system. Many duct systems are poorly insulated and leak conditioned air into un-conditioned attics and crawl spaces.
It might be surprising to learn that many older homes actually have a much better designed duct
system than a new home. These older homes may only need a leak check and insulation upgrade. Newer homes, on the other hand, may be victim of cost cutting measures and poorly designed duct systems. The use of flex duct has grown in popularity because ease of installation and the high cost of shop made sheet metal ducts.
Flex ducts even installed properly are a poor substitute for well designed properly insulated sheet metal ducts. It is common practice to make plenums and coil boxes out of taped together duct board.
Learn more about upgrading your HVAC system
In the past few years, the Government has mandated that cooling units have a SEER rating of at least 13 starting. This is good news, because a twenty-year unit may have a SEER rating of only 7 or 8. Examine your house as a whole before jumping to conclusions about your HVAC unit. This includes repairing air leaking windows and door seals. It does little good to replace an older HVAC system and expect great reduction in utility bills, if you don’t attend to the areas where you are losing energy.
In the end, be sure to include an evaluation of your ductwork system in your plans to upgrade your HVAC system. There is no use in exhausting valuable conditioned air to the great outdoors through leaks and worn-out duct insulation. If your duct system needs an overhaul, you might want to consider a high velocity delivery system. These systems use smaller PVC pipe ducts. These high velocity systems are much easier to install and insulate. The bottom line on a HVAC system upgrade for maximum efficiency must include more than just the new equipment. For more information, feel free to reach out to our team at Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating.