So you're ready to upgrade your system to the latest energy-efficient model, and you've even set aside the funds. Before you call a licensed professional, you should understand the options available to make the most informed decision and save the most money. |
Electric or Gas
The first thing you'll want to decide is whether you'll be sticking with your electric or gas system. A good HVAC contractor can work with both types, but some prefer one to the other. Research costs for each in your area and compare these to your current bills. Would switching to gas be a better option for you, or vice-versa?
Even more, many natural gas companies are so eager to get your business that they'll offer to replace appliances when you sign up. Your electric water heater could be easily exchanged for a brand new gas version at no cost to you. That is, of course, if you're alright with signing a somewhat lengthy contract. Additionally, you'll want to make sure that your home or business has the proper infrastructure for an HVAC contractor to work with. If you don't have ducts and ventilation systems in place, be prepared to spend a hefty amount of funds on additional parts and installation.
Insist on Energy Star Efficiency
More importantly, you'll want to take the time to find an HVAC contractor who is willing to install an Energy Star-certified system in your home. These systems will save you substantial amounts of money, so much so that they will begin paying for themselves quickly. You might be surprised how much energy is wasted simply due to inefficient machinery.
You'll also want to run the model numbers and brands by your accountant. This might be a surprise, but there are substantial tax credits for switching to Energy Star appliances. Couple that with your bill savings, and you'll be on your way to paying for that HVAC contractor's parts and labor in as little as a year.
Secure Your Structure
Finally, you'll want to take the time to go over each aspect of your home or business with the HVAC contractor in person and check for leaks. Not necessarily gas leaks, but actual thermal leaks through the walls. This usually occurs when the builders didn't properly seal the cracks at the joining of walls, doors, and windows with the right polymers. It could be an easy fix, but neglecting to do so could lead to significant energy loss.
As a final note, while you're getting your structure inspected, get your insulation tested as well. You'll want to make sure that you've got an adequate thermal barrier to avoid those same high energy costs. If you're only using a single layer of fiberglass insulation, you might want to consider adding a spray polyurethane foam layer or another modern addition. These additional layers can save you substantially in the long run.
When considering HVAC contractors, Willowbrook residents visit Apex Energy, Inc. Learn more at http://www.apexenergyhvac.com/.
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