5 Lifetime Costs That Impact Your HVAC System Purchase
Many Barrie and Simcoe County homeowners only look at the initial purchase price when comparing new home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Don’t fall into this trap.
Focusing solely on the “first cost” can lead to overlooking the true expenses associated with your home heating and cooling system. The true cost of a comfort system entails more than the initial purchase and installation. In fact, the “first cost” may make up no more than 25 percent of what you’ll end up paying.
When buying a HVAC system it’s important to look at operating costs, maintenance, and repairs. A wise homeowner should consider these long-term expenses, or what we call “lifetime costs.”
How to determine the lifetime costs of an HVAC system?
To ensure you are fully prepared for the expenses that come with owning an HVAC system, it is important to budget for both predictable and unexpected costs.
Here are the top four factors that affect the lifetime costs of your HVAC system purchase:
1. Energy Efficiency
Look for air conditioners with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ranging from 13 to 16. For furnaces, look for a high AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of 90 to 97 percent. Higher efficiency ratings mean your new equipment will convert more fuel into cool or warm air, minimizing energy wastage.
Understanding SEER Ratings
SEER ratings determine the energy efficiency of air conditioners. A 13 SEER unit is the standard and provides decent efficiency, but an AC unit with 15 SEER or 17 SEER offers higher efficiency.
While a 15 SEER unit may have a slightly higher initial cost, it can lead to significant energy savings in the long run compared to a 13 SEER system. A 17 SEER unit will provide even greater energy efficiency, but it may come with a higher upfront cost.
Read more about SEER ratings and browse competitively priced central air conditioner options.
2. Fuel Costs
Fluctuating fuel costs make it difficult to predict the impact of energy expenses on your HVAC system’s lifetime or total costs. When comparing fuel sources like electricity, oil, gas, and wood, remember that each fuel type has different efficiencies when converted into energy.
For instance, an all-electric furnace can be 100 percent efficient, but the higher cost of electricity might not make it the most economical choice in the long run. Gas furnaces are a popular choice for Barrie homeowners.
3. HVAC Installation Quality
The quality of work by your contractor during the initial design and installation has a big impact on performance and longevity of your equipment. Your system should be designed specifically for your home. It should work hand in hand with your ductwork. You may pay later for cutting corners during installation.
HVAC installation costs in Barrie can vary based on factors such as the size and complexity of the equipment, the type of system chosen, and the specific requirements of your home. The expertise of your chosen HVAC contractor can also influence the installation costs.
Read: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an AC Contractor
While upfront installation costs may seem high, invest and choose a reputable HVAC contractor with extensive experience and expertise. A reliable contractor will ensure that your system is correctly sized, installed, and maintained. This will ultimately save you money on potential future repairs and replacements.
4. Ductwork Design
You need a well-designed and properly installed ductwork system to ensure optimal heating and cooling efficiency. Ducts that are poorly designed or leaking can lead to significant energy losses, which will reduce the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.
Again, it’s important that you hire a reputable HVAC contractor, who can assess and improve your ductwork so it gives you considerable energy savings over time.
5. HVAC Maintenance
If you really want to maximize energy savings and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, you need diligent preventive maintenance.
Regular tune-ups by a professional technician can identify and address minor issues before they turn into costly repairs. For example, you should book an AC routine maintenance to ensure it operates at peak efficiency—effectively cooling your home from room to room. This will help you keep your energy and utility payments manageable.
Energy Saving Rebate Program in Canada
Did you know the government supports energy conservation efforts and promotes the adoption of energy-efficient HVAC systems? These energy-saving rebate programs offer financial incentives and rebates to homeowners who upgrade to high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. The Energy Star® certification is often a requirement to qualify for these rebates, ensuring that the equipment meets rigorous energy efficiency standards.
Since we’re talking about energy efficiency, we’d love to introduce you to other green initiatives and options.
The Canada Greener Homes Program is another initiative by the Canadian government aimed at helping homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient. Under this program, homeowners can access grants of up to $5,000 to undertake energy-saving renovations, including upgrading to energy-efficient HVAC systems. These incentives lower the initial investment needed and also contribute to reducing the lifetime costs of your heating and cooling system.
Geothermal heat pump systems offer an attractive option for Barrie homeowners, who want a highly efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC solution. These systems harness the stable ground temperatures to provide consistent heating and cooling throughout the year, which significantly reduces energy consumption. These are known to have higher upfront costs but the long-term energy savings make them a cost-effective choice for many.
An affordable sticker price is good, but it shouldn’t be your ultimate consideration. When buying a new HVAC system, remember to consider lifetime costs, including energy efficiency, fuel costs, installation, design, and maintenance.
It’s also worth looking at energy-saving rebate programs and initiatives like the Canada Greener Homes Program.
Don’t forget that partnering with a reputable HVAC contractor will provide long-term benefits for your home and your wallet.
For help considering the lifetime costs of a new home comfort system, contact a reliable HVAC contractor in Barrie like Custom Comfort ClimateCare.