There are a number of standards that your HVAC system should meet when it’s installed. Failure to meet these standards will result in a system that does not work properly. Some of the issues that could occur is a system that is not energy efficient, or one that is unable to keep your home at a comfortable temperature — or it may just break down. What are the standards and how do you know if your system has met them? Here are the factors that determine if your HVAC unit is up to code.
- Sizing. It’s essential that your system is the correct size for your home. Too small and it will be overworked and waste energy. Too big and it will cycle on and off too quickly, wearing out the system and making your home uncomfortable. If your system wasn’t sized properly before installation, you’ll need to replace it. Make sure your contractor uses Manual J residential load calculation to calculate your home’s heating/cooling load.
- Energy. The minimum SEER rating for ACs in North Carolina is 14. The minimum AFUE for your furnace is 80%. If your system is older, it may not be up to those standards — and thus not up to code. By replacing them with units that are up to code, you can save a significant amount of money and energy while keeping your home comfortable.
- Location. Your unit should be placed somewhere out of the way but still be accessible for service and maintenance. If you have a closet specifically for your unit, that’s ideal. However, you can also put it in your attic or crawl space. Your outdoor AC unit should have 2 feet of clearance on all sides, away from any bushes or trees, to ensure proper airflow.
- Matching. This is specifically for split-systems with indoor and outdoor units. If you install both together, there’s no problem. However, if you replace only one, the new unit must match your existing one. They’re both designed to operate at a certain pressure as the refrigerant flows between them. If the pressure is off, the system won’t work properly.
For help ensuring your HVAC system is up to code, contact the professionals at Jackson & Sons, keeping Eastern North Carolina homes and businesses comfortable and efficient since 1974.Will a Programmable HVAC Save You Money? » « Can You Tell If You’re Getting Correct Thermostat Readings?