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 the City of Houston, Texas
Installing a new HVAC “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning” system or replacing an existing system in your Houston area home requires important steps to ensure it’s installed legally, sized correctly and that you are getting the best deal possible. 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. Next you can move on to purchasing the HVAC system while making sure you are following the HVAC guidelines set forth by the State of Texas and the City of Houston.
Preparing your Houston Home for HVAC Installation
Before investing thousands of dollars on a new HVAC system, it would be beneficial to start first with a home energy assessment. The energy efficiency of your home plays a major role for your new HVAC system to reach its maximum energy efficiency and performance standards. A poorly insulated or improperly sealed home will allow conditioned air to escape. This will cause your new HVAC system to run longer and use more energy putting an additional strain on the system, 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.
Purchasing a New HVAC System in Houston
Purchasing the right HVAC system for your home will require hiring the right contractor or HVAC company to install the system. Your contractor or HVAC sales representative is responsible for sizing the system, determining the best installation method and helping you choose a system that meets your efficiency requirements, cooling and heating needs and budget. Most homeowners are familiar with the golden rule of obtaining at least three estimates from reputable contractors before starting a home improvement project and this is no different with HVAC systems. This keeps the process competitive and allows you to settle on a price and contractor or HVAC company with whom you feel comfortable.
It is important to note before entering into an agreement with an HVAC contractor or company, you should first verify that they hold the required license and certifications as well as insurance coverage required by your state. It is also a good idea to ask for and check with local references of prior jobs to get a handle on the type of work you can expect from them.
Permitting Process for HVAC in Houston
HVAC/mechanical installations in Houston require a building permit before starting the project. This is particularly true of new HVAC installations where a prior system did not exist. Although it most often falls under the contractor’s or HVAC companies responsibility to obtain the permit, occasionally homeowners pull the permit. You can visit The City of Houston website online or in person at the permit office, 1002 Washington Avenue, Texas 77002 for more information. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M to 4:45 P.M.
Main line: 832-394-8899
Utility Releases: 832-394-8847
Types of HVAC Systems for Your Houston Home
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning “HVAC” systems heat and/or cool air for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Several types are available for residential use including:
A heat pump utilizes the outside air or constant temperature of the earth to both heat a home in the winter months or cool it during the summer. These systems are some of the most efficient in the HVAC industry.
A split system uses a combination of an indoor air handler and an outdoor condensing unit to condition your home’s inside air. The indoor unit consists of a supply fan and cooling coil while the outdoor condensing unit consists of the condenser coil and compressor.
Packaged HVAC systems are all-in-one heating and cooling systems, meaning that all components are housed in one cabinet usually located on the home’s exterior. These systems are popular in homes with limited space availability for indoor equipment.
Ductless Mini Splits
Ductless mini splits utilize both inside and outside components to provide conditioned air. Benefits of these systems are high efficiency and precise comfort without the cumbersome ductwork associated with traditional systems, which makes them ideal for areas with limited or restricted space.
Financing Options for HVAC in Houston
Many HVAC contractors and companies offer attractive financing options to help you pay for your system, some with rates as low as 0 percent. It would be to your benefit to explore the financing options available in your area to obtain the best rate. Many lending institutions offer reduced rates for green or energy efficient home improvements. Traditionally, home equity lines of credit “HELOC’s”, credit cards, personal loans and cash have been used to pay for new HVAC systems.
By doing your due diligence, you may be able to obtain significant savings in the form of rebates and tax incentives. Depending on the type of HVAC equipment you install, government, state and manufacturer rebates may be available. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency “DSIRE” to view a comprehensive list of incentive programs by state or visit energy.gov to learn about valuable government rebates and/or tax credits.