Homeowner Help: Simplifying the 4 Stages of HVAC Installation

There are more interesting topics regarding homeownership than heating and cooling, yet proper HVAC installation is vital to your family’s health and ongoing comfort. Proper installation and maintenance makes summer humidity cooler and wicked winter drafts warmer. Understand the stages necessary for proper installation and maintenance.

Why an Updated HVAC?

Replacing an existing system is necessary in order to comply with EPA standards. Being an energy-efficient homeowner is good for the environment and your wallet. However, proper installation is vital and the reason finding good vendors is so important. HVAC procedures are seldom DIY projects. Improper installation reduces the efficiency of a system by more than 30%, which costs you more money in energy bills.

Preparing for Installation

Some homeowners may think of cost rather than efficiency and necessity when shopping for a new system. However, realize that a smaller system may be unable to properly heat and cool your home, and a larger unit does not always mean that it is more efficient. Speak to manufacturers and vendors before upgrading your existing system.

Ensure the area around your HVAC unit is clean and free of dirt and debris. Stored items, children’s toys, and accumulated dust should be out of the area.

Ensuring the system and components are easy to access is another reason why this should not be a DIY project for most homeowners. In times of needed repair, it may get costly if vendors need to take existing systems apart in order to access particular areas. Such situations raise the rate of visits and could pose a threat to your family’s health.

A new and efficient system will fail to work as desired if air ducts are dirty and filled with dust and debris. Speak to your heating and cooling repair person about cleaning your air ducts if necessary.

Why Ongoing Maintenance?

Neglected maintenance is akin to buying a premium car yet failing to bring it to a mechanic for oil changes, etc. HVAC systems and components need proper maintenance to run optimally.

A premium HVAC system may present upfront costs yet provide homeowners savings in return. Properly installed HVACs and well insulated households save money when it comes to heating and cooling.

Air quality is essential to staying healthy and comfortable in the home. Systems need to be paired with quality air filters that eliminate dirt, mold, and bacteria from the air.

Things to Check

Despite the age of your system, check the thermostat to ensure your home is heated or cooled to your liking. Inspect the condensate drain for blocks in airflow or water damage. Additionally, ensure the system is starting and shutting down as intended.

Pair efficient windows with upgraded HVAC systems. Be sure windows are free of drafts and leaks and apply caulk where needed. Block drafty doors with towels or blankets. Also, close individual vents in empty rooms and shut the doors. Be mindful of the trajectory of airflow; hot air rises and cold air drops to the floor, so in the summer the basement will attract colder air and the upstairs portion of the home will be warmer when heat is flowing.

Howard A. Dreher is a home renovation contractor. He enjoys writing about home improvement and repair. You can find his post on DIY and homeowner blog sites.

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