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For a better home and a comfortable living space, user-friendly and highly efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a must. So purchasing an HVAC system for your house may seem like a daunting task unless you know which HVAC product is the perfect choice for you.

Whether you choose the most affordable portable unit or the most efficient and expensive central air system, here’s an ultimate guide for choosing the right HVAC product for your home.

Understanding the rating system

Before you choose an HVAC system for your home, do your homework on the different rating system of the HVAC products. Generally, the HVAC system comes with three different rating system.

  • Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

AFUE – It’s the standard measurement that indicates the level of efficiency in terms of oil-fired and gas furnaces. The higher the rating, the greater the heating efficiency. For example, if the AFUE measurement suggests a 70% rating then it indicates that the furnace converts up to 70% of the fuel (gas or oil) to heat your home. And the remaining 30% will be used to run the machine. It wise to choose a furnace with no less than 78% rating. The most efficient HVAC systems are rated at 95-98%.

HSPF – With this measurement, we estimate the energy efficiency of heat pumps. The higher the HSPF rating, the better the energy efficiency. It means the heat pump will use less energy to provide more heat.

Now, the latest heat pumps are rated at 13+. So it’s best not to choose an HVAC product with less than 8.2 HSPF ratings. Heat pumps that are rated at 8.2 or above come with Energy Stars to highlight their efficiency.  

SEER – This measurement is used for heat pumps and air conditioning. SEER rating indicates how less energy is used to run the HVAC system. The most efficient heat pumps or air conditioners are rated at 30+ SEER ratings. 14 or above SEER ratings come with Energy Starts.

Right HVAC size | Perfect HVAC system

When it comes to installing the HVAC system for your home, size matters. It can neither be too small nor too large. If it’s too small then you will only exert more pressure on the HVAC system to provide more heat. If it’s oversized, then it will only cost more to maintain.

To reduce the maintenance cost and utility, in the long run, perform a load calculation to find out the optimum HVAC size for your home.


When it comes to affordable HVAC system/product, you need to consider two things. The first concern is obviously the price of the HVAC system. And the second component is the maintenance, lifespan, parts, and utility charges.

Before purchasing the HVAC system for your home, compare the price from different suppliers. This will give you an idea about the ideal cost for your HVAC unit. To reduce the purchasing cost, try to focus only on the local suppliers. Usually, local suppliers give discounts on installation for local buyers.

To decrease the maintenance and utility charges, go with HVAC systems that come with higher efficiency ratings. Although highly efficient HVAC products have high initial purchasing cost, they are more durable than other HVAC products making them more cost-efficient choices.

Save yourself some cash by focusing on the filter of the HVAC system

A good combination of high-quality filters and efficient HVAC system leads to saving some cash in the long run by reducing utility and increasing the unit’s durability. The HVAC filters are also designed to enhance indoor air quality. You can also use customized HVAC filters according to your need if the dimensions are not conventional for your home’s HVAC unit.

Single and multi-stage HVAC systems

One of the major considerations while purchasing an HVAC system for home is to choose whether to go with a single or multi-stage system.

Single-stage HVAC system – This HVAC unit is quite popular among the customers. When the thermostat detects an anomaly in the system, it simply turns on the system and operates until the problem is solved. But the problem with single stage system is that it can either operate at full capacity or not at all. Although it reduces the overall efficiency of the unit, it aids in maintenance and operation.

Multi-stage HVAC system – On the other hand, these units are built with a variety of partial power settings. So they can operate either partially or at full capacity. The thermostat automatically controls these stages making it a more user-friendly option. So multi-stage units are more popular for locations that experience frequent changes in temperature than any other places.

But the multi-stage system cost more for maintenance compared with the single stage system. So for hotter climate and faster operation, it’s wise to choose a single stage unit over a multi-stage system. But if your goal is to achieve an HVAC system with a better lifespan and high energy efficiency then it’s better to go with a multi-stage HVAC system.  

Choose the right contractor for your HVAC system

Improper installation or oversized or undersized HVAC system for your home can lead to wastage of energy and increase the utility charge. So finding an experienced and affordable contractor is a must. With improper installation, you can lose up to one-third of the energy used to run the system even with the most efficient HVAC product in the market.

Before you hire any contractor, check out the local bureau to see if your preferred contractor has any complaints lodged against him or not. You can also check out the Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Consumer Affairs for the same purpose.

A good contractor can help you to identify any pre-existing problem in your house and solve them as well as properly calculate the optimum size of the HVAC system for your house saving you from excessive maintenance cost.

Final Thoughts

In case of an HVAC system for home, the category holds more importance than the brand itself. For example, a portable classic window or wall-mounted system will appeal the apartment dwellers more than any other HVAC systems. Although the portable unit is more affordable and effortless to customize, it is bulkier and louder than all other HVAC units.

Whether you want an HVAC system with a quiet functionality or fast dehumidification system or smart controls with phone applications, it is up to you to do your homework and decide which brand appeals to your need the most.

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