HVAC is overlooked
The first considerations when buying a new home always revolve around design – kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring. However the HVAC is overlooked! Ironically, the heating and cooling system is often the one feature that most people are dissatisfied with after moving in. The following checklist outlines the most important features of an HVAC for a new home.
- The design and type of ductwork – if the ducts aren't sized and balanced properly, the home will never be comfortable. Externally insulated round ducts are best; long runs of flexible duct are worse.
- The refrigerant – R-22 was phased out in 2015. What little of it still remains is very expensive. We recommend switching to a newer system with environmentally friendly R-410A.
- Balance dampers in the ductwork – the worst and noisiest place to adjust the amout of cooling and heating coming into a room is at the diffuser grille. Balance dampers should be installed some distance from the diffusers and balanced by a qualified technician, like those here at LHT Cooling and Heating.
- Location of the indoor unit – attic mounted furnaces will eventually leak and cause ceiling damage, unless you take precautions. A secondary drain pan and drain line should be installed with the drain line to the exterior of the home. Furnaces mounted in closets at floor level are less prone to cause leaks and are much easier to service.
- Locations of the outdoor unit – the worst place to locate outdoor (condensing) units are when they can be seen or heard. Make sure the unit is not just outside the master bedroom windw.
- Efficiency – Since January 2015 in South Carolina the minimum allowable efficiency for new air conditioners was 14 SEER. By 2020, it will be 15 SEER. The higher the SEER, the lower the utility bill.
- Filter dryer – nstalling a filter dryer in an a/c liquid line extends the life of the compressor by removing damaging moisture and grit.
- The condenser coil (outdoor unit) – coils that are made of a single metal, such as aluminum, last longer and hold their efficiency better.
- Return air considerations – remember that in order for conditioned air to enter the room, an equal amount of air has to leave the room.
- Air filter location – air filters should be located where they are easy for the homeowner to reach. We recommend changing the filters monthly.
Call us at LHT if you think your HVAC is overlooked!