Need a New Central A/C for Your Chicagoland Home? Fall Might Be the Perfect Time
Did your old A/C and energy budget barely make it through another Chicagoland summer? Before you shut down the A/C for winter hibernation, consider the many benefits of installing a new central A/C system this fall. It might just be perfect timing. Here’s why.
Shopping HVAC Contractors This Fall
Any time you're considering service, replacement or new installation for an HVAC system, you're also shopping around for an HVAC contractor. The contractor you ultimately decide to do business with substantially impacts your efforts for a successful project, which is a lasting investment in home comfort and energy savings. Early fall is the lull between peak summer A/C service calls and the beginning of winter heating services, which makes it an ideal time to meet prospective contractors.
Shopping for a new central A/C or heating system before it fails relieves pressure you may feel when trying to quickly replace a system. Take advantage of this opportunity to make the best decisions for A/C selection, installation and service agreements with your HVAC contractor.
Consolidate HVAC Systems and Save
Your new central A/C system may be using the same blower as your heating system. Explore your options for combining a new A/C and heating system, especially if your current heating system is on in years or showing signs of trouble. You may also consider a hybrid heating system, which combines the cooling and heating efficiency of a heat pump with the workhorse heating power of a furnace or boiler.
What's Cooking in Home Cooling?
A/Cs available today offer exceptional energy efficiency and comfort features that put control of energy expenditures and home comfort at your fingertips. Here are a few advanced A/C features and add-on equipment to consider:
- Variable-speed blower: A variable-speed blower motor adjusts cooling airflow to barely audible, smooth airflow to 100-percent capacity to quickly cool down a home after energy-saving turn-up periods.
- Scroll compressor: Two-stage scroll compressors use fewer parts than traditional compressors, which means less wear, repairs and quieter operation. Scroll compressors work beautifully in conjunction with variable-speed blowers and thermal-expansion valves for maximum cooling and dehumidification.
- Whole-home humidifier: Alleviate dry winter air with a whole-home humidification system. It attaches to the ductwork and automatically provides optimal moisture to the entire home.
- Zoning system: A zoning systems delivers total comfort control to each zone of the home so you're not paying to cool and heat unused zones.
- WiFi thermostat: Link your new central A/C and add-on equipment with a WiFi thermostat. You can program preset temperature changes to maximize energy savings and comfort and gain access via a smartphone app or computer to make changes or check system conditions.
- New refrigerant standards: It's getting more expensive to repair older A/C and heat pumps systems that still use age-old R-22 refrigerant. New central A/C and heat pump systems use higher-efficiency R-410A, which offers better heat exchange and is safe for the ozone.
Recalculate A/C Size
Whatever you do, don't install a new central A/C or heating system based on the size of the older systems. Many contractors simply install a new HVAC system based on the square footage of the home and a little extra tonnage for good measure. Oversized HVAC systems perform poorly and you eat the higher cost for purchase, installation and operating costs for the life of the new system.
Insist that your contractor follow HVAC-industry best practices.
- Load calculation: Manuals J, S and D were developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). They're the industry standard for load calculations, system sizing and ductwork design, respectively. Manual J takes dozens of factors into consideration, in addition to square footage, to ensure each room of the home receives optimal airflow for size and heat gain/loss.
- System sizing: Manual S is used to match the tonnage of your new central A/C to the cooling load. The effect of add-on equipment, such as zoning systems and whole-home air-purification systems, are taken into account.
- Ductwork design: Good ductwork design is important to ensure your new central A/C system performs at peak efficiency. The ductwork in your home should be inspected to make sure it's sized correctly, insulated where appropriate and free of obstructions and leaks. Manual D is used to design and install new ducts, or to modify existing ducts, if feasible.
For the best service, installation and craftsmanship in Chicagoland, please contact Comfort24-7.com to speak with a comfort dealer near your home.