Tips on Buying a Proper Central Heating and Cooling System

Central heating and cooling system is very efficient as it will save much of your money in case if it is correctly installed and has a proper size.

This type of systems is quite expensive, but in the long run they can save a significant amount of money and energy. However, before buying one you have to decide on the necessary size of this equipment and have it properly installed. It's recommended to purchase a central heating and cooling system from an honorable contractor who is accredited by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the one who sticks to the rules of the Energy Star program.

So, a perfect process of buying this type of system looks in the following way:

1. First of all, you should find a trustworthy contractor who is accredited by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Don't spare your time on searching for a reputable contractor. Get ready to ask some smart question about the desired production. You are advised to refer to ACCA Manual J, "Residential Load Calculation" and ask for a Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) certificate that guarantees that the units offered by a contractor are of high quality.

2. Next, be sure to check up that your current ductwork will handle the unit you're going to buy, especially if you're adding central heating and air conditioning system to an old home. Thus, ACCA Manual D offers guidelines for duct design for residential buildings. Let the contractor check whether there is any leaking or damaged ductwork. These aspects should be certainly considered when installing and insulating a new unit.

3. Ensure that the contractor does correct and exact calculations and measurements, in order to provide you with a better unit than you used to have earlier. According to the data given by the federal website of Energy Savers, a great number of old homes require oversized central heating and cooling systems. It's recommended to consider several contractors at a time before buying the necessary unit. Wise homeowners prefer a contractor who sticks to the ACCA guidelines and provides right calculations for the choice of a correctly-sized unit.

4. You should familiarize yourself with efficiency standards of central heating and cooling systems including the Sensible Heat Ratio (SHR) and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rates. It was mentioned on the University of Florida website that SEER indicates the efficiency of the unit in the amount of heat per kilowatt of energy used. According to national standards, a minimum SEER is nowadays 13 for all systems manufactured after January 2006. It's recommended to buy a unit with the highest SEER, although it is more expensive. SHR shows the amount of the cooling air that decreases the temperature inside the house. The remaining amount is meant to remove moisture. A good cooling system should have a SHR of about 7. This index means that about 70% of the power used by the system goes toward cooling and about 30% - to remove moisture."

5. Finally, you have to contact one of the local utilities to ask for additional information concerning sizing of the necessary central heating and cooling systems. Some of these companies provide their clients with these calculations absolutely free. Don't forget to ask about any discounts for these important units. This information can be received from the contractor who frequently offers government state, local, and federal rebates.