Deciding to replace your home’s HVAC system is a big decision. From understanding different system types, to installation costs and more, it can be overwhelming and confusing. To ease that confusion, we’re answering some frequently asked questions about HVAC replacement and how BDL Heating & Cooling can help.

When Is It Time to Replace My HVAC System?

Deciding whether or not your system needs to be repaired or replaced can be tricky. Repairing is best for systems that have minor issues or haven’t had major issues before. Signs it may be time to replace your system include:

  • Your system requires repairs that are a substantial portion of the system cost
  • Your system runs on R-22 refrigerant (phased out by the EPA 1/1/2020) and is having refrigerant related issues
  • Your system is 15-20+ years old (the lifespan of a system depends on system type, use and quality of up-keep)
  • Your system has problems that could cause a safety issue
  • You have high utility costs caused by an inefficient system and the utility savings of upgrading your system will help pay for the new system (or cover your Mass Save HEAT loan payment)
  • Your system needs frequent repairs/you have frequent breakdowns that are causing you to be uncomfortable in your home

When in doubt, it’s always best to consult an expert. At BDL Heating & Cooling, We pride ourselves on giving our clients honest recommendations that work best for their home/business and their budget. We will never upsell you and will make recommendations that we would make to our own families.

What Are My Options?

There are a number of different types of HVAC systems, which can make your decision even more complicated. The most common types of systems are:

These are individual units, typically with one placed in each room, giving you more control over the temperature in each space. These units can be floor mounted, wall mounted or ceiling recessed and are attached to an outdoor condenser. They can be air conditioning only or heat pumps. One outdoor condenser can connect to anywhere from one to eight indoor units.

Mixed Ducted/Ductless Mini-Splits use the same efficient technology of a ductless mini-split system, but give you the option to attach both ductless and ducted indoor units to the same outdoor heat pump condenser. The benefit of a setup like this is the versatility it provides. As an example, you may have one ducted air handler in the attic servicing your whole second floor with vents to provide a quiet, well balanced system for your bedrooms; while you might have a handful of ductless air handlers on the first floor, where you may not have a place to fit ductwork if your home is on a slab or has a finished basement.

Low Heat/Hyper Heat Pumps are a style of mini-split heat pump system that can provide full heating capacity to around -5 degrees outdoor temperature, with partial capacity down to around -13 degrees outdoor temperature. This is the style of system you would choose if you plan to use heat pumps as the sole heat source in your home. The alternative are standard heating capacity units, which typically act as supplementary heat down to somewhere between 15-30 degrees outdoor temperature, using fossil fuel or electric heat as a back-up below 15-30 degrees.

Furnaces with Air Conditioning are a very common/traditional setup. This type of system typically consists of a forced hot air gas or oil furnace and evaporator (cooling) coil in the basement or attic, with an air conditioning condenser outside. This type of system provides fossil fuel heat and traditional central air conditioning.

Many homeowners now chose furnaces with a heat pump back up to take advantage of where each system operates at it’s maximum efficiency. We at BDL especially like this option for it’s ability to hedge a bet against the future of utility costs. If you have a gas furnace with a heat pump back up as an example, you may use the gas furnace when it is below 30 degrees outside and the heat pump when it is above 30 degrees outside under current conditions, which allows you to qualify for a $1,250.00 per/ton Mass Save rebate. However, if gas costs rise in the future and electric costs stabilize (or you add solar to your home and have some extra power), you may chose to use the heat pump to a slightly lower temperature, reducing your gas cost.

Hydro Air Systems have a hot water coil inside the air handler that receives hot water, typically from a gas or oil boiler. The air from your home then passes over the coil full of hot water to be heated and sent back out into the home. This type of system provides comfortable and efficient heating and is especially advantageous when venting is a challenge, because only the boiler (which is typically in the basement) needs to be vented. Each air handler does not require outside exhaust venting and just needs hot water lines ran to it from the boiler.

Boilers, typically fired by gas or oil, create hot water or steam to heat your home. This hot water or steam is then distributed to baseboards or radiators in the living space. Boilers can also connect to radiant floor heating and hydro air systems. Boilers are the main focus of our sister company, Priority One Plumbing & Heating.

A package unit is an HVAC system where both heating and cooling components are contained in a single unit. These are installed outside of the building and connect to a duct system that feeds into the building. A common type of package unit is a rooftop unit, which is often found in commercial spaces. Mobile homes also often have package systems outside of the home, connecting to a duct system beneath the home to save space.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost will vary depending on a number of factors including the system you choose, size of the house, ductwork, and more. However, we can work with you to design a system that works to meet your budget and long term goals. To get an idea of cost, feel free to call us at 508-643-5114 so we can learn more about your home and your needs.

How Long Will It Take to Install?

Most HVAC systems can be replaced within one-two days, but more advanced, complex jobs can take upwards of a week, especially if duct upgrades are involved.

When Is The Best Time to Replace My HVAC System?

It is best to plan ahead for your installation, instead of waiting until your unit fails. Often, we find it is easiest to replace your system in periods of mild weather (spring and fall), just in case the system has to be down overnight. That said, we can accommodate installations 52-weeks per/year and when the weather is extreme, we work very hard to get your system back up and running the same day. If we can’t, you will know in advance of the job starting and we can often provide space heaters, window air conditioners or other ways to keep you comfortable.

Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

Unsure if your HVAC system needs to be replaced? Ready to get started with the installation process? Contact us today at 508-643-5114 to learn more about our HVAC systems and how our experienced team of technicians can help.