Buying a New HVAC System - If you are in the unenviable position of trying to sell your home or if you expect to be putting your home on the market in the next couple years, you need every edge you can get to help attract buyers and get a good offer on your home.
Upgrading the energy efficiency of your home can help you get that advantage and pay dividends in the form of lower energy costs until your home sells. Several recent studies have concluded that energy efficient homes sell faster and at higher prices than less efficient homes.
Buying a New HVAC System
For example, a recent study by the North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance (NCEEA) concluded that Energy Star homes sell almost three months faster than conventional homes at a higher sales price and a higher price per square foot. Although the North Carolina Study focused on newly built homes, two recent Oregon studies covering both new and existing homes with third-party energy efficiency certifications reached similar conclusions.
While these studies were limited to local areas, we can take away from them the fact that home buyers are interested in energy efficient homes and that an energy efficient home is likely to sell faster and for more than a similar conventional home.
Energy Efficiency Improvements | Buying a New HVAC System
A great place to start on improving the energy efficiency of your home is with your HVAC system. About half of the energy used in most homes goes to heating and cooling the home. Talk to a good local HVAC contractor about having an HVAC system efficiency analysis done on your home. Your contractor will be able to recommend a package of energy efficiency improvements. In addition, consider replacing your current HVAC system with a high-efficiency heat pump or furnace/air conditioning system.
Significant improvements in energy efficiency may give your home an edge in the marketplace and in the meantime, you will enjoy lower energy costs for heating and cooling while reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
According to EPA estimates, about half of the energy used by the average home goes into heating and cooling the home. Depending on how old your existing system is, you can cut your cooling costs by up to a third by replacing that old air conditioner with a new energy efficient air conditioning system.
For Florida residents whose air conditioners may be running seven or eight months out of the year, those savings can really add up. In addition, you will be reducing greenhouse gasses and helping to protect the environment.
When you are shopping for new air conditioning system, ask about the SEER rating of each unit. The SEER rating is a measure of the energy efficiency of the unit. A unit with a higher SEER rating will use less energy to cool your home. New air conditioning systems have SEER ratings from 10.0 to 17.0. A unit with a SEER rating over 14.5 can qualify for the ENERGY STAR rating from the EPA.
Replace Both the Air Conditioner and the Furnace? Buying a New HVAC System
If you are going to the expense of replacing the central air conditioning unit, it pays to replace the furnace at the same time to maximize the efficiency of the air conditioner. You will get the biggest bang for your buck with complete HVAC replacement. In addition, you should consider installing a programmable thermostat matched to your equipment. These are relatively inexpensive and can save hundreds of dollars a year in heating and cooling costs.
Once you have chosen a good energy efficient air conditioning unit, you will need to have it properly sized. When it comes to central air conditioning, bigger is not always better. A unit that is too large or too small will lose cooling efficiency. Your certified HVAC contractor should perform a load calculation and help you select the right sized unit for your home.
Peter Reid writes for HVAC Training and Repairs and has over thirty years of knowledge in the industry.