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 Raleigh
Many steps are necessary when replacing or buying a new HVAC system. Hiring the right HVAC contractor and the permitting process are two of the most important phases of the job. Since your HVAC contractor will guide you through the entire HVAC process, including the quality of the installation, this step carries significant importance. Familiarizing yourself with the first steps in the HVAC process will allow you to convey your expectations and communicate with your HVAC contractor more clearly.
Raleigh Climate for HVAC Considerations
When choosing the right type of HVAC system, the climate can be a factor. The type of system that provides top-notch efficiency in one region may not be as effective in another. When determining the type of HVAC system to be installed, your contractor will use manual load J and manual D (ductwork) calculations to determine the size and type system most efficient for your property.
Raleigh’s overall yearly climate ranges between high summer temperature and low winter temperatures. Summertime highs average around 89 degrees with winter lows around 32 degrees. Raleigh has a high average rainfall of 45 inches, annually, compared to the U.S. average of 37 inches. The humidity comfort index is rated at 36 out of a hundred which is lower than the U.S. average of 44 out of 100. In the case of humidity ratings, the higher the level, the better the comfort level.
With this information in hand, you can discuss the different HVAC systems and the ones that will be affected by Raleigh’s seasonal climate.
Raleigh HVAC Contractor Tips
This is an area where in-depth research is necessary as you want an HVAC professional doing the installation. A new HVAC system can be a significant investment and it’s to your advantage to have an expert at the helm. An improperly installed HVAC system can cost more money with unnecessary repairs and maintenance due to incompetence by a contractor not certified in HVAC installation or a non-licensed person handling the project.
- Set up appointments with several contractors to provide an estimate.
- Ask for proof on insurance and contractor’s license. If either is not available, move on to the next potential candidate.
- Be sure the estimate is all-inclusive and lists each portion being charged for individually.
- Ask if there are any other charges that could be incurred that are not included in the estimate.
- The estimate must be signed and have a complete date including month, day, and year.
- The warranty covering labor and installation should be clearly outlined.
- Payment and/or deposit requirements, as well as refunds, if applicable, should be clearly defined.
- The information provided on the estimate should carry over to the contract. Compare the two for any discrepancies such as omission or changes to information that do not have your approval.
Two free sources are available to verify a contractor is the local Better Business Bureau. At the BBB, you’ll have access to information about a contractor’s work history. The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors website is another good source that allows you to verify the license of potential contractors free of charge.
Raleigh HVAC Permit Tips
For information about permit requirements and inspections, contact the Development Services Center for the City of Raleigh. The center is located at One Exchange Plaza, Suite 400, Raleigh, 27601. You can also get assistance by calling (919) 996-2495. This is a step you want to take from the start to ensure you are in compliance with city building codes. Because a HVAC system involves electrical components, a permit will be required to guarantee the system has been installed safely.
Failure for working without a required permit in Raleigh can result in your receiving a citation from the city, additional cost for obtaining the required permit, service fees, fines, and even court costs, if necessary. It is also possible the system will need to be removed and reinstalled by a licensed HVAC contractor.
Common Types of HVAC Systems in Raleigh
The type of system you choose should depend on your HVAC contractor’s recommendations. However, listed below are common HVAC systems installed in Raleigh followed by a short description:
- Ductless mini splits are compact HVAC systems capable of delivering both heated and cooled air. The system components consist of an outside condensing unit and interior cooling/heating heads. Many of these systems are capable of supporting multiple heads, meaning one exterior condensing unit can operate one or several heads at the same time. This feature gives the user unmatched control over zone cooling and heating.
- Air-source heat pumps are highly efficient systems that transfer heat from both the inside and outside air to produce desired comfort levels.
- Geothermal heat pumps use the constant temperature of the ground or a nearby body of water to provide both heat and cooling for your home.
- Split HVAC systems refers to systems that utilize both outside — condensing unit — and inside — air handler/evaporator — to heat and cool air.
HVAC Resources for Raleigh
If you’re interested in finding rebates, incentives, tax credits, or loan programs for a new HVAC system installation and ductwork, Energy Star and the DSIRE – U.S. Department of Energy can help.