When you purchase an HVAC system, you can expect it to last for roughly 20 years if properly maintained and installed. Of course, just because your system is designed to last that long doesn’t mean it will operate at peak efficiency. Furthermore, changes in technology and regulatory standards may mean that it will cost more to maintain your furnace or heat pump. Changes in plumbing technology may also have an impact on how much it costs to maintain your home.
Current Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out
Both heat pumps and air conditioners make use of artificial refrigerants that help to create the cool air that flows through your house. Until recently, most cooling systems were designed to handle something known as R-410A, which was a replacement for R22 that was created in the 1920s. Although R-410A is safer than R22, it is still a driver of climate change, which is why new systems will be designed for use with R454B.
Although this is going to be better for the environment, it may wreak havoc with your wallet in the short-term. If you choose to keep your current cooling system in place, you may pay more for R-410A as supply of the material will be cut sharply in upcoming years. It’s also possible that you’ll have to wait longer for repairs to be made as supply shortages may mean that the materials needed aren’t available right away.
If you decide to buy a new HVAC system, you could pay a premium for systems that use materials that meet new standards. This premium could be up to 30% above what you’d pay for a system designed to meet standards in place prior to 2024. Furthermore, you may pay extra for recovery hoses and other tools needed to make handling new refrigerants safer for technicians and your home.
New HVAC Units Will Be More Efficient
The primary benefit to buying a new HVAC system is that it is designed to be more efficient than the one currently in your home. New units must conform with new SEER2 standards, which result in systems that are 10% more efficient than those currently in use. A reduction in heating and cooling expenses will help to defray the cost of a new unit, and it’s also possible that you’ll be entitled to rebates or tax credits when you purchase a new furnace or air conditioner.
If you use a heat pump instead of a traditional furnace, it will need to have a SEER rating of 14 and a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of at least 8.8. Homes in the United States are not allowed to have heating systems with SEER ratings of less than 12, but most that were installed in the last 10 years or so have a SEER rating of 13.
Conserving Water with Plumbing Upgrades
In recent years, there has been a push to make homes smarter and more efficient. For instance, you may have installed a smart thermostat in your home or installed smart lights that can be turned on and off from a smartphone.
If you are looking to conserve water, you can use a smart system to determine exactly when to water your lawn or shrubs. Your smart system can also determine how much water to disperse at any given time to ensure that you’re only using what you need. The use of such technology can enable you to get rid of an existing irrigation system or otherwise keep your lawn looking its best without wasting a precious resource.
Furthermore, fixtures such as toilets and washing machines have been designed to use less water per flush or per load. The same is true of dishwashers and other appliances that are used to wash or clean things around the house. You may also be able to install new shower heads that use less water if you’re looking for an easy way to cut down on water bills. In fact, modern showers give you the ability to preheat the water to help you save time in the morning while also saving money on your household bills.
Find Leaks Before They Cost You
Although you may think that your home is free of serious defects, there’s a chance that it has a water leak that you don’t know about. In many cases, the first sign of trouble is the presence of a large water bill or the smell of mildew coming from the basement. In some cases, you won’t know that a pipe is broken or clogged until you see water pooling near the toilet or sewage coming out of the bathtub.
Even then, it can be difficult to determine where the leak is coming from without access to specialized tools or professional help. However, with new smart technology, your home will tell you about a leak at the first sign of trouble. This means that you can contact the folks at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Plainfield, IL before your home experiences a significant mold outbreak or wastes hundreds of gallons of water.
In addition to helping with drain issues, we can also help install a new tankless water heater. Finally, we can flush your current water heater or repair a leaky or old toilet that isn’t as efficient or smart as products available on the market today.
Should You Take Advantage of New Technology?
There are a number of questions that you’ll want to ask yourself before deciding if now is the time to buy a new HVAC system or to upgrade your home’s appliances. The first issue that you’ll want to consider is how old your current HVAC or plumbing components are.
If your HVAC system is less than a decade old, it may not make sense to make a switch just yet. If your HVAC system was installed more than a decade ago, you may want to at least consider whether the benefits of a new system might outweigh the upfront costs.
The same is generally true of toilets, washing machines or other items that you use in your home on a regular basis. In addition to saving money on your water bill, a heated toilet or new smart appliance could potentially increase the value of your home. Therefore, you may want to consider an upgrade even if your existing fixtures or appliances still have a few years of life remaining.
Your own personal preferences will come into play as well. For instance, you may prefer a bidet or a touchless faucet over the conventional method of washing up for hygiene reasons. Whatever you decide to do, our team can work with you to meet your needs while staying within your budget.
If you are looking to upgrade your home’s HVAC or plumbing, give the folks at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call today! We can also help with indoor air quality assessments, install a sump pump or install a mini-ductless system to keep your home at a reasonable temperature at all times.