Love Is In The Air At Comfort First!

In this season of love, show your home how much you appreciate it with the help of Comfort First! Valentine’s Day may be over, but don’t let those feelings of love go away before taking care of your home with a new system. Our expert team of HVAC technicians can help you navigate which systems, especially HVAC and Standby Generators, would work best for your home. Please enjoy our blog to learn valuable information on these essential systems for your home. 

Choosing A New HVAC System

When it comes right down to it, your heating and cooling system is one of the largest appliances in your home, and therefore a major investment for you as the homeowner. You want to make sure that the system you are choosing is of good quality that will stand the test of time, without breaking the bank. But how do you know what is right for your home? We are happy to help. 

Size Of New HVAC – Sometimes during the more extreme months of the year, it may feel like the air conditioning system working for your home just cannot handle its needs. When you start shopping for a new unit, you may be tempted to ask your contractor to set you up with a larger unit. However, it is essential that you do not upgrade your system for one that is designed to handle a larger space than yours. Unfortunately, it just does not work that way. A larger system built for a larger home will not run efficiently for your smaller home, therefore using more energy and ultimately breaking down well before its time. 

Your contractor will instead go through your home and perform a Manual J load Calculation to determine which sized unit will be best for you. A Manual J Load calculation measures just how much heating and cooling your home needs by taking into account:

  • Square Footage
  • Windows
  • Duct System Functionality 
  • Air Leakages Detected
  • Insulation Effectiveness
  • Local Climate Needs

Efficiency – You most likely heard the term SEER rating while looking up info on HVAC units. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and indicates how efficient a heating and cooling unit is. Newer units are federally mandated to have at least a SEER rating of 14. However, you can go much higher with the SEER rating than 14. 

The higher the SEER rating, the less energy you will need to power the unit. However, units that have a higher SEER rating are typically more expensive. Trying to balance out the pros and cons of a more efficient unit vs one that is less expensive can be a challenge. Ultimately, you want to ensure that the unit you are selecting, despite its SEER rating, is of high quality. Regardless of how efficient a unit is, if it needs constant repairing and will not last as long, chances are any energy savings will be counteracted. So the best HVAC unit to choose would be a good combination of quality brand and high SEER rating.

Special Features & Add-Ons – There are a number of add-ons you can select that will work in conjunction with your new heating and cooling system. Some of these include:

  • Zoning System – This feature works to heat or cool sections of your home individually, reducing the need for additional systems.
  • Whole Home Humidifier – This device helps add moisture to your home’s internal air. 
  • Whole Home Dehumidifier – This device helps remove moisture from your home’s internal air. 
  • Air Purifier – Air purifiers work to remove harmful pollutants and particles from the air you breathe inside your home.
  • Smart Thermostat – Not only can you control the temperature of your home from your phone with a smart thermostat, but some work to learn your habits to program itself accordingly. 
  • UV Lamp – UV lamps effectively sanitize the air as it circulates back to your HVAC, destroying bacteria & viruses. 
  • Ventilator – A ventilation system allows fresh outdoor air to flow safely into your home in a controlled manner, keeping fresh air constantly circulating. 

The nice thing about these add-ons is that you can pick and choose depending on your home’s unique situation. And who doesn’t love choices, right? 

Choosing a Standby Generator

In North Carolina, we are under constant threats to our electricity. From hurricanes to ice storms, we just never know what the weather will bring to our beautiful state. When considering options to prepare for a power outage, at the top of the list is a whole home generator. There are a number of different types and sizes of generators from which to choose. But how do you know which one is the right one for your home? We are here to help!

Type of Generator- First of all, we need to distinguish the difference between a portable and standby generator. A portable generator is a smaller type of generator that you can plug in to power a few appliances in your home. They are, of course, portable, so you can store it until you need to use it. You cannot power your entire home with a portable generator, unfortunately. 

A Standby Generator, in contrast, is not a portable appliance but one that is installed onsite at your home. These generators allow for a safer way to power your home in the event of a power loss as you don’t have to deal with fuel and power cords. These systems are installed into your electrical system from the start. Standby generators will kick in automatically when the power goes out, so they are quite convenient. Of course, convenience comes at a price, with these generators being more expensive than portable generators. 

Choosing Your Standby Generator – These appliances are useful, safe to operate, and can increase the value of your home. Determining which one would be best for you depends upon your home’s electrical needs most of all. You can choose to power your entire home or just main appliances, so depending on the power needs of what you would like to have running you may need a more or less powerful unit. Make a list of all of the appliances you would like to power and determine its BTU, or British Thermal Unit, which measures an appliance’s energy necessary to operate. Add all of the BTUs together and you will get your total energy needs. 

You will also need to choose your fuel source for the generator. The three types of fuel a generator can operate on are natural gas, liquid propane and diesel. You’ll need to ensure that you can provide a source of fuel for the generator, whether a large propane tank or adequate gas line. 

Comfort First For Your Home’s February Solutions

Here at Comfort First, we understand how important and complex the decision can be when choosing a new HVAC or standby generator for your home. Please let us know how we can help assist you, whether it is a complimentary consultation or a simple question over the phone. 

We hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and look forward to working with you soon on your home’s comfort!