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.
HVAC Buying Guide for Grand Rapids
Installing a new HVAC “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning” system or replacing an existing system in you Grand Rapids home requires important steps to ensure it is installed correctly, legally, and maybe save a few dollars along the way. Although the type of system you choose and its efficiency are important, the process should start by laying the groundwork for the project by hiring a HVAC contractor or company, purchasing the HVAC system and following the HVAC guidelines set forth by the state of Michigan and the city of Grand Rapids.
Energy Audits in Grand Rapids
Before investing on a new HVAC system, it would be beneficial to start first with a home energy assessment. The energy efficiency of your home’s envelope plays a major role in new HVAC system performance and expected efficiency. A poorly insulated or improperly sealed home will allow conditioned air to escape increasing the workload on your new HVAC system. This leads to longer run times, which can lead to premature breakdowns and costly repairs.
An energy efficiency professional can analyze your home to determine areas that may require attention. It could be as simple as upgrading insulation to more advanced measures such as pressurizing your home to identify energy leaks around windows and doors. Many electric utility companies offer free home energy audits or subsidizing rebates that can help defray the costs of home energy audits.
Grand Rapids Climate Considerations
Grand Rapid’s climate will affect your contractor’s decision on the type and size unit needed for your property. With January lows averaging 16, and highs averaging 83 degrees in mid July in Grand Rapids, you need a system that can handle both the frigid temperatures of winter and the warmer temperatures of summer. When selecting a system, consider an Energy Star system that may provide a tax credit as well as offering the highest rated energy efficient systems approved by the EPA.
Tax Credits and Rebates Available to Grand Rapids Residents
The average cost of a new system is not cheap and can range between $3,500 to $4,500, or more depending on tonnage. There are multiple options available to pay for the system such as a home equity line of credit, personal loan, retailer financing, or credit card. There may be programs, loans, grants, and tax credits available to you. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. This resource has plenty of useful information.
Types of HVAC Systems in Grand Rapids
Many types of HVAC systems are available in Warren, Michigan including heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, straight cool, ductless AC units, and mini split systems. Your contractor or sales representative will help you determine which type is best suited for your home or business. The following list is a brief breakdown of the most common systems available.
Heating and Air Conditioning Split System
Heating and air conditioning split systems are those systems that utilize equipment placed both inside and outside your home. Common components of these systems are:
- An interior air handler combined with an exterior compressor
- Ducts that distribute the conditioned air
- A thermostat to set/adjust desired temperature levels
- A filtration system to protect the system and improve indoor air quality
- A thermostat
Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning System
HVAC packaged systems house all of the necessary components such as the compressor, air handler, and evaporator coils in one unit placed on the home’s exterior. Advantages of a packaged system are:
- Packaged systems offer a space-saving alternative over split systems, which require additional inside space.
- Can connect to both ceiling and floor mounted duct systems.
- Operate via a programmable thermostat.
- Utilize air filtration to protect the unit and improve indoor air quality.
Duct-Free Mini Split Heating and Air Conditioning System
Ductless mini splits are easy to install systems with both an inside and outside unit. Most installation applications require only a three-inch hole drilled through an exterior wall. The system utilizes an outside unit the houses the compressor and an inside unit that houses the air handler. Advantages of a ductless mini split are:
- No ductwork is necessary
- Greater control over your inside climate
- Often operated by a remote control
- Suitable for future expansion of the system
Property Value and ROI in Grand Rapids
Installing a new HVAC system can increase your property value. Online calculators are available that allow you to enter your square footage and zip code to determine your expected increase in property value as well as your expected return on investment.
Before installing or replacing your HVAC system, schedule a home energy audit to determine the energy efficiency of your home. To realize the maximum benefits of a new, energy efficient HVAC system, any areas of your home — insulation, windows, doors, weather stripping — that fall short should be corrected beforehand.