Your heating and cooling needs can range from complexities like installing an air conditioning system and boiler to simplistic tasks like installing a thermostat or repairing a ceiling fan. Your heating and cooling system is arguably one of the most important aspects of home maintenance, and one you will notice the most when it's not working. Make sure you get all the details involved in this project before you proceed and keep in mind the following considerations.
If you need a new heating and cooling system installed, the highest cost will likely be labor. For example, purchasing a swamp cooler to go in a window or attach to a home involves getting a professional to install it. Its size, placement, and the necessary ceiling removal and height will factor into an additional cost determined by the contractor.
Also consider the installation of heating and air conditioning vents. Improperly designed systems may have ducts too small for the amount of air blowing out, or an overly large duct in one room may siphon off air that should be going to another part of the house. The heating and cooling system may be either undersized or too large for the duct system, providing too little or much more pressure than the system was designed to handle. A contractor can do a mathematical calculation as to what size HVAC system your home needs based on the type of materials you are using, the indoor air quality desired and the size of your home. The placing of your vents and ducts are crucial in keeping your house at a comfortable temperature year-round. If vents are placed where you plan to put down furniture or in the largest room of your home, there are going to be issues. All of these situations will add to the total cost of your installations.
Heating & Cooling System Costs
Consider what kind of heating and cooling system you want installed for the square footage of your home. Do you want a full system with a thermostat or a specific machine for the summer like a swamp cooler? Do you need a furnace just for the winter? For any of these projects, the cost will vary depending on the quality, style and machine size you choose. If you have a tight budget, think of going smaller and upgrading over time. For example, if you can't afford to convert your entire home to solar power, you may want to consider utilizing it to just heat your water.
You might also want to check your home for thermal insulation if you live in extreme heat or freezing temperatures. Insulation keeps the heat and cool air in your home, which means a lower electric bill than if it leaks out and turns your system on more often. There are various types of insulation that you can install in your home, and a home energy auditor can point out the best places for it in your house.
Some heating and cooling machines are more energy efficient and less expensive to purchase, install and run. However, some only work for certain climates, like swamp coolers in dry-heat areas. Make sure to check if an energy-saving device will bring you comfort in the long run. Just because it saves energy does not mean it's the right choice for your home. Energy-efficient installations also may cost more upfront. Research, planning and competitive pricing are imperative.
Look for rebates from your power company. Many states offer incentives to upgrade your home to being more energy efficient. Sometimes these rebates can significantly offset the initial cost of your installation as well as monthly cost savings.