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There are a few strategies to keep in mind when choosing a new heating system for your Northfield, Illinois, home. Paying attention to factors such as energy efficiency, sizing, and add-ons will help you narrow down your options and choose a heating system built to last.

Unit Sizing

Before replacing your heat pump, you will need to determine the size of your current HVAC unit. You can find this information on the heat pump by locating the manufacturer’s plate, which includes a model number. Divide the number by 12 to figure out the unit’s tonnage.

In general, a heat pump ranges from 600 to 650 square feet per ton. If your home is 1400 square feet, you divide 1400 by the heat pump tonnage (i.e., 1400 divided by 650). In a 1400-square-foot home with this type of HVAC unit option, you would need a two-ton unit. It’s best to choose a slightly undersized unit than oversized, particularly with air conditioning equipment, because a bigger unit results in wasted energy and higher purchase costs.

While there are ways you can determine the unit size you need yourself, your best bet is to contact an HVAC professional who can come into your home and take more precise measurements. Doing so will guarantee you will get a more accurately sized heating system.

Furnace Type

If you’re investing in a new furnace, you need to consider the three types of furnaces available on the market. These include single-stage, two-stage, and modulating, and their names refer to how they cycle on and off according to how you set the thermostat.

Single-stage furnaces only have one setting, so you can only switch them on and off. They may be simple to use, but single-stage furnaces are much more inefficient than the other options because they result in bigger temperature fluctuations.

Two-stage furnaces have high and low settings. You can set the thermostat so it never drops below your preferred temperature, and you’ll enjoy greater efficiency than with a single-stage unit because temperature variations are slighter.

Modulating furnaces adjust to any point between the off and high settings, and they’re constantly adjusting the flame to provide a constant air temperature. The downside is that modulating furnaces are the newest option available, so their efficiency and comfort levels have yet to be proven. They are the best option in theory, although most homeowners prefer the tried-and-true two-stage furnace.

Energy Efficiency

HVAC systems are rated according to their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which is a figure used to measure a unit’s efficiency. SEER ratings currently range between 10 and 18, with 18 being the highest energy efficiency option. Heat pumps with a 10 SEER only provide the minimum energy efficiency, so they’re not the best option if you are hoping to save money in operating costs over time.

In fact, units with a SEER of 12 or higher can save as much as 20 percent in operating costs compared to a unit with a 10 SEER. Just imagine how much an 18 SEER unit can save! Consult with your HVAC technician about efficient options priced within your budget.

Add-On Features

With today’s heating systems, you can invest in beneficial add-on features that can make your system run more efficiently and provide your family with additional comforts. For example, if your home uses an HVAC system, you can choose from a variety of products designed to enhance indoor air quality.

Whole-home ventilators, dehumidifiers, mold-fighting UV lamps, and state-of-the-art air cleaners are just a sampling of what’s available to the modern homeowner. These products make it easier to control humidity levels and indoor allergens to help make your indoor air as breathable and healthy as possible.

You also should never neglect your thermostat. Choosing the right thermostat can be just as crucial as picking a new heat pump, so don’t make the decision lightly.

Ensure that your home has the best heating solution tailored to your family’s needs. Contact Ireland Heating & Air Conditioning at 847-388-0108 to schedule an appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable technicians. 

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