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Designing a replacement heating and cooling system

Photo Credit: Heating & Cooling 101

We all know that the efficiency of furnaces, boilers and air conditioners have improved, and we all want to ‘save’ on energy costs. eieihome spoke to Nancy McKeraghan of Canco ClimateCare Heating & Air Conditioning about cutting those bills and updating your current heating and cooling systems.“We find that a lot of homeowners don’t know that their home systems work together when it’s time to replace old or inefficient equipment. It’s something they should consider,” says Nancy.

Designing a replacement heating and cooling system
Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

HVAC systems are mechanical systems, which mean they are applied systems. They should be specific to the home and family’s needs. “Purchasing mechanical equipment is different from buying a toaster that will operate the same regardless of where it’s plugged in,” explains Nancy. This isn’t the case with heating and cooling system equipment since it integrates with the home’s structure.

If you have rooms that are uncomfortable, increasing energy bills or family members with allergies or other health considerations, then it is important to view your home as a whole system. Keep in mind that replacing the “box” (standardized HVAC unit) will not necessarily address these issues.

What are some points you should consider?

Research & Plan

Do some preliminary investigation. Especially, if your current heating and cooling system is approaching or is over twenty years, or your hydro bills have increased. Don’t wait until it breaks down. Plan ahead.

Designing a replacement heating and cooling system
Photo Credit: Junichi Ishito via Flickr

Hire a licensed contractor

Hire a licensed contractor who insists on performing a heat loss/gain assessment in order to properly determine the capacity of the heating and cooling system equipment required. Over or under sizing can affect the performance and lifespan of your system as well as the comfort level of the occupants.

Evaluate your contractor

These are the issues your contractor should be asking about: hot and cool spots, airflow patterns, and air quality and humidity levels in the home. Can they measure before and after performance & provide solutions that meet your needs?

The idea that a house is an “ecosystem” isn’t new, but it’s unfamiliar to many homeowners. They don’t consider its operating system and all the various parts within that affect one another. The lifespan of mechanical equipment is typically 15 to 20 years, thus your decision now impacts the performance of your home’s heating and cooling system for that time. The question remains, will you buy a “box” or will you insist on having a system designed for your home that meets all your needs?

Are you considering of replacing the heating and cooling system of your home? Be sure to use eieihome’s Heating & Air conditioning directory to find the right professional for the job.

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