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Which Heating/AC System Should I Install?

Are you wondering which heating or AC unit should I buy?

There are many factors that go towards deciding which system is best for heating or cooling your home. One of the first things to consider is: Are you replacing an existing system, or are you starting from scratch? This is important as, for example, if a central air system is theoretically the best solution for your home, but you do not have existing ductwork, the cost and disruption to your home of installing ducting may well outweigh the benefits.

How Much Heating or Cooling Does Your Home Need?

If you need AC for much of the year, but only need to heat your home occasionally, the system that is best suited to your needs will be different from a situation where you need heat more than cooling. Similarly, if you need to alter your temperature by a large amount, the system that will suit your needs best may be different from that which only needs to change the temperature by a few degrees.

What Energy Sources Do You Have Available?

While it is assumed that every home has an electrical supply, the type of fuel that is readily available to you is an important factor to consider. Do you have oil, propane or natural gas available? Do you have the land and conditions that are suitable for using a ground source heat pump? (There is a system of Federal tax credits available for geothermal heat pumps installed in 2016.) You may have other questions depending on what resources you may have available.

Initial Purchase Cost or Running Costs?

The most important factor to consider is if you want to be energy efficient with your home. The more efficient heating and cooling systems tend to cost more initially than less energy efficient systems. This is due to the increased efficiency coming from more expensive technologies. So an important question to ask yourself is, would you rather pay more upfront for your heating and cooling system and have lower ongoing running costs, or have a less expensive system and accept that it will cost more to run? If you only need to use your system occasionally, greater running costs may not be that great of an issue for you.

How Large is Your Home?

The size of the home to be heated or cooled can have a great influence on the best suitable system. If you have a smaller house, you are more likely to heat or cool the whole home, but with larger houses, this may be different. In some larger houses, there are often areas that are not used very often, so it may make sense to be able to have separate heating and cooling zones where you can alter the temperature to suit that particular area.

Humidity and Allergens

If humidity levels are a concern, or if you want to be able to filter the air in your home to remove allergens, these are factors to consider when selecting your system. Different systems lend themselves better than others for using such add-ons.When you have decided on your system, don’t forget to add in a programmable thermostat. Choosing the right one not only makes sure that you have the temperature that you set it to (within a few degrees), it also saves you on operating costs, particularly when you can have separate zones linked together for efficient operation.When selecting the system that is best for your home, don’t forget to check that it is EnergyStar approved. Federal tax credits of up to $500 are available (subject to certain criteria).

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