If you're building a new home, you might not be giving much thought to your HVAC system. Although it may not be the most exciting part of the home building process, it will contribute significantly to your home's year-round comfort. Unfortunately, your HVAC equipment can also add a big chunk of change to your final bill.
Although there's no escaping the cost of a quality HVAC system installation, there are steps you can take to save money both now and in the future. These three tips will help you to reduce both the installation and operating costs of your new heating and cooling system.
1. Select Your Contractor Early
If you're working with a general contractor to build your home, then it's possible that they already have a preferred HVAC partner. If not, you should begin to select your installer as soon as possible. Building a relationship with your HVAC installer early on will give you time to address design issues that may affect your HVAC installation costs or operating efficiency.
2. Properly Size Your Equipment
Heating and air conditioning systems work best in the goldilocks zone: not too big and not too small. Oversized equipment will cycle too often, costing you more money and wearing out components more quickly. Undersized equipment will continuously run as it struggles to maintain temperature, ultimately sending your utility bills through the roof.
Your HVAC installer can perform a detailed analysis of your home to determine your heating and cooling load. By examining not only the size of your house but also the characteristics of its envelope, your installer can more appropriately match equipment to your needs. This extra up-front work can potentially save you vast amounts of money on your utility bills.
3. Consider Design Modifications
The design and layout of your home have a significant impact on your HVAC system costs. For example, open floor plans tend to be particularly challenging to heat. You don't need to give up on your dream home to save money on your HVAC installation, but consulting with your installer may help you to spot easy changes that can save money.
In some cases, you may be able to reduce your system requirements by only moving windows or adding more insulation. Working with your installer early on can help to highlight these problems so you can decide if the trade-offs are worth it for you. If you're lucky, a few minor changes may allow you to purchase more inexpensive HVAC equipment or realize significant utility savings in the future.
It may require some extra work, but making HVAC decisions a core part of your design process can provide major financial benefits. The earlier you begin to discuss your options with your HVAC installer, the more you are likely to save.