What Is the Cost of a New HVAC System?
Your HVAC system isn't necessarily something you spend time thinking about, yet that's the feature most people are dissatisfied with after they've settled into their home. It's important to find the right heating and cooling system, and that includes finding one you can afford.
The HVAC world can easily intimidate. There is so much to consider: What features do you need your HVAC system to have? What benefits are important to you? And then, there are technical terms everywhere: variable-speed, single-stage, two-stage, etc. The biggest deciding factor is cost. How much will a new HVAC system cost me? Well, like the features and benefits, there are different pieces to consider in the overall cost.
Installation Cost:This is usually the only cost homeowners consider. Depending on the efficiency of the equipment, the size of your home, the area you live in, whether or not you need ductwork, etc., a new HVAC system installation price can range from approximately $3,000 to $30,000 or more. The installation cost varies depending on your situation. The important thing to keep in mind with installation cost: cheaper is almost never better. Cheap typically means you aren't getting the best system, and it also suggests the installer is either not experienced or will not properly size your system, which can cause major issues.
Maintenance Cost: Conventional systems are made up of a furnace, an air conditioner, and a hot water heater, so there are three different pieces of equipment to maintain. It sounds like upkeep could get pricey, right? There is an alternative. Geothermal heating, cooling and hot water systems can provide heating, cooling, and hot water within one compact unit. This means there are less moving parts to maintain. Another perk of geothermal systems: the unit is kept indoors, so it's never exposed to harsh, outdoor elements that can cause issues.
Operating Cost:Heating and cooling is the largest energy expense for most homes. To lower the cost, make sure your home is airtight and insulated well, then focus on a high-efficiency heating and cooling system. The higher the efficiencies, the lower your operating cost. The energy efficiency rating of air conditioning systems is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Gas furnaces are measured in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). The most efficient conventional air conditioners reach 20 SEER and gas furnaces reach 95 percent AFUE. Geothermal systems have efficiency ratings (the ratio of heat actually generated versus the amount of energy used to produce the heat) of 400 to 500 percent. A rating less than 100 percent means you lose heat you pay for. This loss is usually caused by the energy consumption required during combustion in a fossil fuel furnace. With a rating of 95 percent, the most efficient natural gas furnaces cannot compete with the high efficiency of geothermal.
Lifetime Expectancy:Conventional HVAC equipment lasts about 13 years, on average. With geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water systems, the ground loops that power the system last a lifetime, and the unit usually lasts 20 to 25 years (sometimes longer). With a quality geothermal system, installation, and routine service plan, it has the potential to last two times longer than the highest-quality, most efficient conventional system.
Comfort and Peace of Mind: Do you want to hear your heating and cooling system running? Do you want the concerns that come with having propane in your home? Do you want hot and cold spots in your rooms? Do you want to worry about the fluctuation of fossil fuel costs and how that impacts your utility bills? Most would say no. In addition, 71 percent of homeowners want to be more energy efficient. Geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water systems are the solution. They are quiet, do not use fossil fuels, are the most comfortable form of heating and cooling, and so much more. You spend 4,000 to 6,000 hours in your home every year, so don't discount how important comfort is when evaluating the cost. Geothermal is a comfort investment that pays you back.
Purchasing a new heating and cooling system isn't an easy task, but the payoff from researching and investing in the most energy-efficient system is worth it.
This blog was developed by GeoComfort Geothermal Systems. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.
Companies: GeoComfort Geothermal Systems
Steve Smith is the CEO of GeoComfort, a geothermal heating and cooling brand dedicated to producing high-quality, energy-efficient systems.www