To make the process of replacing your home’s HVAC easier, the ModHVAC Calculator offers system recommendations and a quick estimate of your replacement costs to save you the guesswork. To use the tool, just slide the bar in the green box to match your home’s square footage. Then enter your city and state below and click Calculate Cost. Seconds later, you’ll be provided with a set of options for your new HVAC unit.
San Francisco HVAC Buying Guide
San Francisco residents considering HVAC installation or replacement would be wise to learn more about heating, ventilation and air conditioning before choosing their system or contractor. Understanding how they work and what type of HVAC system fits their needs can provide their desired comfort levels with lower energy bills.
How to Choose your HVAC Contractor in San Francisco
Choosing the right contractor for your HVAC installation could be considered the most important part of the project. They are responsible for sizing, designing and they control the quality of the installation. Most contractors provide their customers with several brands or manufacturers to choose from. Although brand is sometimes important to a homeowner, it should not take precedence over choosing the right contractor or the system’s energy efficiency. Before signing any agreement with a prospective contractor, verify the status of their license and certifications for HVAC installation, and that they carry the necessary insurance coverage including workers compensation and liability which is required by the State of California.
HVAC Sizing for your San Francisco Home
Three areas your HVAC contractor should focus on when sizing the new equipment are the heating and cooling required for your climate, the square footage of the conditioned area and the condition of all exterior walls that will interface with outside temperatures. HVAC systems are measured in tons. If you choose an undersized system, it will work harder and use more electricity to condition the air inside your home. If you go too large, the system will cycle more frequently — more wear and tear on parts — resulting in uneven heating and cooling. Since it is crucial that your new system be sized correctly for both heating and cooling, it is critical to hire an HVAC contractor that really knows his/her business.
HVAC Energy Efficiency in San Francisco
Energy ratings are very important when determining between higher upfront costs versus long-term energy savings. SEER, AFUE, HSPF and COE are rating systems used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning, furnaces and heat pump equipment. High performance equipment with higher energy efficiency costs more upfront, but will provide greater energy savings in the future. It is important that you weigh the benefits of both short and long-term savings.
Bells and Whistles of HVAC Systems
Newer models with additional features should also fall under careful consideration before making your decision. Ask your contractor about his/her experience with newer systems and if they require additional maintenance and upkeep. Since new technologies do not have the service record of older, tried and true technology, it would be a good idea to purchase a service agreement or extended warranty to cover the equipment.
HVAC Rebates and Incentives for Californians
You can help defray the costs of your new HVAC system by taking advantage of any rebate and incentive programs available in San Francisco. Homeowners can visit the websites for U.S. Department of Energy, Property Assessed Clean Energy “PACE” and Energy Efficient Programs in California to find active programs. You can also visit DSIRE “Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency” to find policies and incentives by state or zip code.
How to keep it Legal when Installing HVAC in San Francisco
Permits are a necessary component of any HVAC installation or replacement in California. Be very wary of any contractor who suggests a permit is not necessary. For information about the type of and requirements necessary to obtain an HVAC permit in San Francisco, contact the City & County of San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, 1660 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94103, phone 415-558-6088 or visit their website at www.sfdbi.org.
HVAC Maintenance Agreements
Many HVAC companies offer discounts on future repair parts and/or labor when their customers sign up for an annual maintenance agreement.
Annual HVAC maintenance keeps your new system running at peak energy efficiency and performance levels, which will provide you with maximum energy savings. A poorly maintained or neglected system will work harder and use more energy to maintain your desired comfort levels. In addition, a harder working HVAC system will experience more wear and tear on its parts and components leading to premature failure and/or costly repairs.
Paying for your HVAC System in San Francisco
Replacing or installing a new HVAC system carries with it a sizable out-of-pocket expense. You may find it necessary or more advantageous to consider private funding or financing to cover the costs of your new HVAC installation. With today’s green movement gaining in popularity, lending institutions are beginning to offer special financing for home improvement projects geared towards energy efficient equipment and upgrades. In addition, many HVAC companies offer zero to low financing terms to attract and hold your business over their competitors.
Today’s new HVAC systems utilize the latest technologies providing San Francisco residents with more energy efficiency and savings than ever before. When you combine the available rebates, incentives and attractive financing options with the expected property value increase, installing a new HVAC system makes good business sense.