Electrician, Bethesda, MD
Written by Walt Meyer

Basics Before Buying a New HVAC System – Part 1

If you’re considering buying a new HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system in time for summer, the following will give you the basics for what you need to know. In any case, the best source of knowledge will be a licensed electrician experienced in installing HVACs. Work with a reputable local professional for the best results.

Heating Capacity

BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the unit of measure for heating capacity. One BTU will be required for raising the temperature of one pound of water by 1° Fahrenheit. The input capacity measures the volume of gas consumed by a heating unit. The output capacity measures the amount of heat generated by a heating unit. Due to their greater efficiency, newer HVAC systems typically have an input BTU rating less than older ones. Systems with higher output BTU ratings indicate they have greater heating capacities.

CFM (cubic feet per minute) measures the volume of air that passes a point every minute, and it is an important metric for choosing an HVAC system that has the capacity adequate for a particular home.

Choosing an HVAC system is typically handled by the electrical contractor of a home due to the complex calculations required to figure out the proper capacity, size, and type required. A unit too large will waste energy and result in higher utility bills. A unit too small will be insufficient for the residents’ heating needs, forcing it to work harder and shortening its service life.

Cooling Capacity

The capacity of an air conditioner is the most important factor for choosing one that will be right for your home. The measurement for cooling capacity is by Ton for A/C units. One Ton equals about 12,000 BTUh (British Thermal Units Per Hour).

Knowing the cooling capacity your home requires as determined by its size and your family’s needs is important. An electrician who is experienced in HVAC installation can give you the advice you need after they carry out a complete inspection of your home to evaluate its cooling needs.

Part 2 will cover Air Quality, Energy Efficiency, Proper Maintenance, and Noise Levels.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.