Variables in the Selection of a New A/C and Heating System
The first question people ask is “How much does a new A/C cost?” Like when buying a car, an engagement ring or a house… it all depends. So, what does the price depend on?
A/C and heating systems are selected for your home based on the heating and cooling “load” (need) of the home.
- Systems are measured in “Tons” or in units of 12,000 BTUs. Residential systems are typically 1-5 tons. Depending on the size of a home, it may have multiple units.
$ – 1 ton
$$ – 2 Tons
$$$ – 3 Tons
$$$$ – 4 Tons
$$$$$ – 5 Tons
A/Cs and heating systems and their associated “blower” or air handler have a variety of operating speeds.
- Straight-cool system also called a “one-speed” system. The unit is either on or off and the air handler blows 100%.
- Dual-stage or two-speed system – The outside condenser unit (a/c) has 2 speeds, medium and high and the inside air handler has a variable or multi-speed blower.
- Variable Speed System – the outside condenser (a/c) and the inside air handler are both variable speed and “communicating” together to optimize comfort and reduce humidity and utility costs.
$$$ – Straight Cool System – comfort level 3 of 5
$$$$ – Duel Stage / Two Speed – comfort level 4 of 5
$$$$$ – Variable speed fully communicating system – comfort level 5 of 5
Depending on your home, neighborhood, and city, you may have system power options.
- Electric – hot air is blown over heating strips. Least expensive unit to buy but the most expensive in utility costs to operate.
- Gas – a natural gas furnace burns more efficiently than electric heat, costs less to operate and provides better comfort.
- Electric Heat Pump – functions using the least energy requirements and costs the least in utilities. The most expensive system initially but heats the most efficiently for the least amount of utility spend.
$$$ – Electric
$$$$ – Gas
$$$$$ – Heat pump
Indoor Air Quality and Whole Home Air Purification Features:
Improving the quality of your home’s air can have a big impact on your health. Adding features to your HVAC systems like filters and UV lights can help significantly reduce viruses, bacteria, odor, and microbial particulates.
$ – Media Filters
$$ – UV Lights
It’s difficult to compare costs with neighbor’s, friends or family who have replaced their HVAC systems because every home’s needs are different or designed differently, even in the same neighborhood.
For example, a 3,000 sq ft. two-story home may have one 5-ton unit or a combination of two – a 4-ton and a 2-ton unit. The units may be gas, electric or heat pumps and they may be straight-cool, 2-speed or fully variable speed. All factors contribute to the costs of the replacement.
In addition to the HVAC equipment system itself, you need to consider other elements when deciding on the right system.
- How are the utility bills? Have they been increasing?
- What temperature do you like to keep the thermostat set at in summer/winter?
- Are there any hot/cold rooms, air balance or humidity issues?
- What are the levels of insulation in the home and attic?
- What is the condition of the existing ductwork?
- What is the age of the home? Age contributes to heat loss factors like poorly sealed windows and doors.
- What material is on the home’s exterior? Siding, stone, brick or stucco.
- Shading – is the home fully exposed or shaded by trees or other homes?
You can’t be expected to know all these elements and how they influence and combine to calculate your home’s “heat load” requirements. So to answer “How much does a new A/C costs? We suggest consulting a Pro. Scheduling a brief, no obligation, no pressure, site survey with a TemperaturePro Comfort Advisor, will get you the most accurate quote and bring you peace of mind about the unit you are considering. We’ll visit your home, listen to your concerns, ask questions about your desired outcome and evaluate the existing system, insulation and ducting.
Today’s HVAC systems are larger in size than the systems that were installed years ago. We’ll look at the access to the closet or attic and take measurements. We’ll also look at the placement of the outside unit and take photos of the unit’s pad and breakers to identify if there are any code updates that may be needed.
Taking estimates over the phone can lead to inaccurate quotes, code violations, and unexpected installation issues. A brief home-visit can identify and eliminate these complications and provide for a more accurate quote and the right system for your home and comfort needs.
When considering the replacement of your HVAC system in one of the biggest investments you can make in your home, spending 30 minutes with a comfort professional is highly recommended. Selecting the right replacement system can bring you years of comfort, energy conservation, and utility savings.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
Owner – TemperaturePro San Antonio