When you’re replacing your air conditioning, heating, or both, it’s reasonable to assume that the HVAC technician knows what they’re doing. Obviously, they’ll design a system that’s appropriate for your home, select the right equipment, and fit it correctly … won’t they?
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), almost half of all HVAC systems in US homes have been improperly installed. There are many factors involved in HVAC installation, and mistakes are all too common. Oversized or undersized units, equipment that’s poorly chosen for the regional climate, inefficient design, badly fitted systems— all these can impair efficiency, shorten the useful life of your HVAC units, and send energy bills sky-rocketing.
What Your HVAC Technician Should Let You Know
A badly installed HVAC system can make your home less comfortable. It may struggle to raise or lower-the temperature to the desired level, provide uneven temperature control, generate unnecessary noise, and fail to control humidity effectively.
Whether it’s a furnace, an AC unit or a heat pump, all heating and cooling equipment needs to be properly sized for the intended space. If the unit is too small to cope with the volume of air involved, it will perform poorly and can wear out more quickly than it should. Conversely, a unit that’s too big may rapidly cycle on and off, which will also cause it to underperform and will very likely shorten its lifespan.
Incorrect equipment choice
All HVAC equipment needs to be selected with the local climate in mind. For example, a standard heat pump might be a great choice for a region with mild weather — but perform terribly in Alaska or Florida. If the wrong type of equipment is installed, any theoretical efficiency savings may be lost. It may also perform poorly in terms of comfort, and need to be replaced much sooner than a better-suited unit.
Poor system design
Even if the heating or cooling equipment itself is correctly chosen, it’s only as good as the system it is part of. Ducting that’s too wide or too narrow, badly chosen locations for heating or cooling units, and other design flaws can compromise the effectiveness of even the best products. Conditioned air still needs to be delivered effectively to the parts of the house where it’s needed. A system that hasn’t been properly thought-out may waste energy, overload equipment, and fail to deliver a comfortable home environment.
Careless or incorrect installation can cause numerous headaches. There are any number of potential problems that can arise, both large and small. Glaring errors such as fans that are installed backwards or ducting that’s blocked may be obvious right away, but more subtle errors can take time to manifest. Improperly sealed, kinked or defective ducts, for instance, can waste energy for years without being detected.
Another example is bad wiring in the parts of the system that use electricity; this may only come to light when it causes a malfunction — or worse, starts a fire. In the case of some heating systems, ventilation can also be an issue; this creates the possibility of carbon monoxide building up in the home.
Energy Star Verified HVAC Technician (ESVI)
With all of this in mind, the next question is: How do you go about identifying a qualified installer who can guarantee that your new HVAC system is properly designed and fitted? As well as ensuring that a company’s technicians are properly licensed and insured HVAC contractors, one answer is to look for an installer who is verified through the Energy Star program. Feel Free to contact us for more information.