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 Philadelphia
Doing your due diligence to become familiar about HVAC systems could save you some time and money when choosing a HVAC contractor and heating and cooling system for your home or property in Philadelphia. In addition, you convey your desired energy efficiencies and comfort levels to your contractor more easily. This HVAC buying guide will give Philadelphians an overview of what it takes to purchase a new HVAC system for their home or business property.
Important First Steps When Buying an HVAC in Philadelphia
Two of the most critical decisions you will make when purchasing an HVAC system are securing a local HVAC contractor or company to size, design and control the equipment installation and selecting the appropriate type of equipment with your desired efficiency ratings and features that fit your home lifestyle.
Although brand name is important to many, the equipment brand should carry far less significance in your HVAC decision. It will not affect your satisfaction nearly as much as choosing the right contractor and energy efficiency.
Sizing HVAC Systems in Philadelphia
When it comes to sizing an HVAC system, bigger is not better. Most importantly, choosing a system with optimum size, efficiency, and features designed for your climate and property situation. Most HVAC contractors take three main areas into consideration during their load calculations.
- The applicable climate and how it will affect your new HVAC system
- The size of the structure, square footage, or cubic feet you need to heat and cool
- The condition of the structure’s envelope or exterior walls that interface with outside temperatures
It is important to size the new HVAC system correctly. Too much tonnage — HVAC systems are measured in tons — and the system will cycle on and off too quickly. This can lead to uncomfortable, clammy, conditions inside of your home as well as lead to premature failure of the system and related components. If the system is too small, it will run repeatedly trying to maintain desired indoor temperatures. This leads to higher energy consumption, utility bills and premature failure of the system and its components as well.
Efficiency Ratings are Important in Philadelphia
SEER, AFUE and HSPF/COE ratings are very important when choosing a new HVAC system. They represent the equipments efficiency and performance capabilities and are tied directly into the up-front costs and the expected, long-term energy savings of the system. SEER “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings” represent the efficiency of air conditioners. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency “AFUE” ratings measure the efficiency of converting gas into energy for heat. HSPF or COE ratings represent the efficiencies of heat pump HVAC systems.
Obtaining a HVAC Permit in Philadelphia
Replacing or installing a new HVAC system requires obtaining a permit from your local building department. Permits are required to ensure your system is installed correctly and in accordance with the state of Pennsylvania building code and safely to protect occupants from faulty or inferior installation. To obtain an HVAC permit in Philadelphia, visit the permit issuance unit – PSC at 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Concourse Level, Philadelphia, PA 19102. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
Discover Efficiency Rebates or Conservation Incentive in Philadelphia
Before replacing or installing a new HVAC system, check with your city or local utility company or other third parties to inquire about money-saving rebates and/or incentive programs available in Philadelphia. These programs often require a minimum equipment efficiency rating to qualify. Your local Philadelphia HVAC contractor should be well-versed in these programs and can help you choose a system that qualifies. In addition, you can also search for rebates, incentives, and programs by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. This website allow you to search for cost-cutting programs by state.
When to Purchase HVAC in Philadelphia
Planning your new HVAC purchase strategically can also help to reduce it’s costs. Scheduling a replacement or install before the summer or winter months set in often lead to off-peak pricing. When HVAC contractors are in their slow season, they often reduce prices to attract new business.
Annual Maintenance Agreements for HVAC in Philadelphia
HVAC system maintenance is crucial to ensure your equipment maintains peak performance and efficiency. Annual service agreements work in many ways but generally, HVAC companies prefer to service the cooling side in spring and the heating side of your system in the fall. Many benefits are realized through a service agreement such as energy savings, preventing costly breakdowns that may have been avoided with proper maintenance, and unexpected equipment failure which could leave you out in the cold. In addition, many companies offer their loyal customers discounts on labor and parts when they enter into a service agreement contract.
Now that you are familiar with the process and some of the terminology, you will be able to communicate more freely with your HVAC contractor. Communication is key between you and your contractor to ensure that your new HVAC system meets or exceeds your expectations.