help in how to choose a HVAC system

avl2112May 14, 2012

We are buying a new home in the SF Bay area and the gas furnace is very old and it has no AC. We would like to install a whole new system with both as it gets really hot in the summer - usually it is over 80F going to 100F sometimes for a week or so. In the winter the temperatures drop to 40F rarely to 32F. The house is 2 story, 1991 sf. As we have no experience with HVAC ( our current house has only a furnace) I need some help and info on what I am supposed to ask the dealers. Also it is 2 story house. 1050 downstairs and 850 upstairs. I would like to have 2 zones - one for downstairs and one for upstairs, so that we can control whether it is heating ( cooling) only downstairs or only upstairs. Does this mean that we need separate units for each floor or can it be achieved with only one furnace and AC. Please forgive my total lack of knowledge on the subject.

Thank you.

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The best way to find out is to call a few contractors who carry different brands of hvac units to come out and give you a free estimate with all your requirement. Price can vary a lot with different brands, functions, ease of installation in your house (labor hours needed). Also you can look in to mini-split units which are much easier for zoning different areas and more energy efficient in general than central units.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:42PM
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There are three parts to a successful new HVAC installation.

1.a quality dealer and install, a dealer who listens to the homeowner's concerns and goals
2.quality HVAC, brands/models are not the same.there are lots of junk in the residential marketplace
3. And probably the most disregarded and overlooked is a quality ductwork system sized correctly both supply and return and insulated and checked for leaks. Any hot/cold spots should be addressed as usually they are ductwork related.

Now to your situation. New HVAC should be sized correctly usually for
average temps both heating cooling, not for extreme temps for your location.

It is difficult to heat and cool two story home off one system. You can control airflow manually to each floor with dampers on the supply lines. Next would be zoning controls. This can be problematic on retrofits. And the most effective would be two separate systems.

You need to know the features you are looking for both cooling and heating such as var speed furnaces, efficiency, sgl stg or two stg condensers. How bout indoor air quality and filters? Don't assume. Read up and be proactive with dealer's that are quoting. Know your warranty.

Just a few ideas.

Good LUCK!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:58AM
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