If you're building a new home, or installing HVAC system that has never had that type of heating and cooling system, cost is likely going to be a major consideration.
While a new HVAC system is one of the most expensive appliances you'll ever purchase, it's important to weigh both first-time and lifetime costs for each option to ensure you invest in the highest-quality system you can afford. In almost all cases, spending extra now for a system that is both energy-efficient, and has the features most important to your lifestyle, will pay off over time.
A note regarding energy-efficiency: Energy efficiency is where it's at when it comes to lifetime savings of an HVAC system. Keep in mind that half of the average US homeowner's utility expenses go towards heating and cooling their home. Thus, a more efficient unit may cost even a few thousand dollars more than a less-efficient counterpart. However, when you factor in the hundreds of dollars saved each year ($1,000+ for larger homes), the more expensive system will pay for itself - and then save you money - over the course of its 15- to 25-year life cycle..
Additional HVAC Features to Consider
The price examples above are the "bare bones" version. Most homeowners benefit from additional HVAC features in order to improve whole home comfort and indoor air quality - while simultaneously increasing energy efficiency.
Do You Have Adequate Insulation?
If you're building a new home, this isn't an issue. However, outdated and/or insufficient insulation in an older home prevents a new HVAC system from doing its job efficiently. Plus, insufficient insulation means extra wear-and-tear on the unit since it works harder to keep up with heating and cooling loss
A heating and air conditioning technician can peek into the attic, crawl, and interior wall spaces to assess whether or not you'll need to upgrade the insulation for improved heating/cooling performance.
Does Your Home Need a Zoned System?
Zone systems are literal lifesavers for your heating and cooling system, maintain a more comfortable home, and will save your utility bills to boot. Especially if you have a:
- Multi-story home
- Rooms that aren't used very often
- Basement spaces that are used infrequently
- Occupants who like their rooms hotter/colder than others
By putting different areas of the home on different zones, the system(s) only heats and cools those areas according to their programmable thermostats, which saves wear-and-tear and conserves energy.
Consider Features to Improve Indoor Air Quality.
Indoor air quality is getting more attention these days because experts started to realize that the air inside homes is often worse than the air outside - pollution and all. That's dangerous for all of us, especially those prone to respiratory infections or conditions.
In addition to changing your air filters according to manufacturer's instructions (more often if you suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions), there are two HVAC features that can significantly improve air quality.
- Whole-home air purification. These systems go above and beyond filtering particulate matters. They also mitigate mold spores, pollen, pet dander and micro-particles that can get through standard filters.
- Whole home humidity systems. Your home (and your body) like humidity levels to range between 40% and 50%. So adding humidifying and dehumidifying features ensure this is the case. Not only does it reduce mold, mildew and structural rot - healthy humidity levels also reduce the amount of time the HVAC works to heat and cool the house.
It's impossible to quote a single "average" cost for an entire HVAC system since the variables are endless. However, these figures are a good place to start as you create your budget.
Learn More About HVAC System Costs
Contact Howell's Heating & Air for a new HVAC quote that's specific to your home, it's occupants and your lifestyle. We've provided top-notch, honest and reliable service to Richmond, VA homeowners such as yourself for 50 years.