So you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, but all these terms like “AFUE,” “ACCA,” and more are so confusing!
How do you know what features you should spend money on, and where you can save?
We hope today’s article will help you make the right decision for this important milestone and long-term commitment!
First off, let’s explain Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
This is basically a measure of how good your gas furnace is at taking fuel and converting it into heat. How much fuel is wasted? The minimum AFUE a furnace is allowed to have nowadays is 78%, with decent ones in the 80s, and high-efficiency ones in the 90s, with up to 97% currently technologically possible! Pretty awesome, right?
But if you’re trying to save some money, you may be wondering whether your new HVAC system really needs that high of a rating.
The thing is, 80% and 90% AFUE furnaces actually function completely differently. Lower-efficiency systems take in air from indoors, and the higher-efficiency ones take in air from the outdoors.
A higher-efficiency furnace is safer if your furnace is in a sealed environment, because otherwise the less efficient open combustion method can cause dangerous fumes like carbon monoxide to build up.
However, your decision also depends on where your furnace is at in your house. If your furnace is all the way up in the attic, or down in the crawlspace, and you go for a high-efficiency model, then you have to spend quite a bit of money installing more pipes and vents to suck in outside air.
Ask your HVAC tech and give it some more thought based on their reasoning!
Ask Your Contractor Questions
Speaking of asking the tech questions, you also want to ask them whether they’re calculating your home’s heating and cooling needs with a method like the ACCA method. (We know, another acronym!)
This stands for Air Conditioning Contractors of America, which has a rigorous set of standards for building code / performance requirements.
Our HVAC techs will always explain these details to you. We do a full inspection and check all the factors that may have changed since your old system was first installed, such as insulation quality, and whether the ductwork needs replaced. Our estimates are based on calculations from official Manuals J and D.
If your HVAC tech tries to just give you a new version of what you already had, without discussing and inspecting further, that’s definitely not a good thing!
Review the Company
Again, even though there’s a lot for you to consider when buying a new HVAC system, the most important consideration is who you pick to do the job. You’ll be relying on their knowledge, which means that they need a respected industry certificate, like NATE certification.
All of our techs are NATE-certified, and I think you’ll agree that our reviews on ReviewBuzz also prove that we are an established, top-notch company to do your HVAC replacement!
So, when it comes to what to think about when buying a new HVAC AC system, it’s important that you yourself understand the terminology and technology, but it’s even more important that you choose the most reliable company for the job. Feel free to shop around… and then give us a call at (919) 853-7910 or schedule an appointment today!