HVAC Sizing and Installation

Proper functioning of HVAC units is critical to the comfort and health of a home’s inhabitants. While these complex systems last a long time—15-20 years on average—they don’t last forever. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of a failing HVAC system, recognize when and how to replace it and be clear about the right size to install.

HVAC systems are like baseball umpires: when they work well, you hardly notice them. The air in the building is clean, odorless and comfortable. You can’t hear the system working. Everyone feels good.

When the system begins breaking down, whether due to age, neglect or disrepair, there are usually symptoms before it stops working entirely and must be replaced. Here are some of the most common:

  1. HVAC efficiency declines. The system runs more often and takes longer to heat up or cool down, increasing the energy bill. This could be a cry for help or the beginning of the death cycle, depending on the system’s age. If it’s older than 15 years, it probably needs to be replaced. 
  2. HVAC repeatedly needs repair. It is not unusual for a part to break or wear out, but when this happens repeatedly, it often signals an underlying issue that requires wholesale replacement. 
  3. HVAC system makes loud noises. Noise is not necessarily indicative of full-scale replacement. It might mean something as simple as a loose part or a single malfunctioning element. Certain sounds, however, are red flags, including groaning and banging from the furnace and a revving sound when the air conditioner starts up. If these noises increase in duration and intensity, they may indicate that the unit is on its last legs. Bring in an HVAC professional to assess the situation.
  4. The technology is simply outdated. As with car ownership, keeping a perfectly functional 20-year-old HVAC system means you’re heating and cooling your house with 20-year-old technology. At some point, even if the system runs, you might want to take advantage of the advances in technology that heat and cool your house cleaner, more efficiently and with more options. Additionally, older units are more difficult to repair as parts are harder to find and install.

Some repairs almost automatically indicate the need for a new system unless the current one remains under warranty. If the evaporator coil, compressor, or condenser fan needs to be replaced, and the system is old enough to be out of warranty, you’re probably better off just replacing the whole unit to avoid a string of costly repairs. A rule of thumb HVAC professionals use is this: Multiply the cost of a repair by the age of the unit, and if it exceeds $5,000, it’s probably wise to simply get a new system. 

What size HVAC system do I need?

Once you’ve determined the need for HVAC replacement, the size of the system is essential. If it’s too small, it will work extra hard to heat or cool the space and wear out quickly. Too large is wasteful and costly.

The size of the unit depends on several factors, including the size of the house, the preferred temperature range, the surrounding climate – generally warm here in the Aiken area – the kind of system, and more. The most significant is the size of the space being heated and cooled. Numerous online calculators can help you determine the optimum size based on your circumstances, but a good guide is this: a 1,200 square-foot house requires a 3000 BTU system; a 1,500 square-foot house requires a 30,000 BTU system, and a 2,000 square-foot house requires a 34,000 BTU system. At Holley Heating & Air, we can make replacing your old HVAC system a breeze. Our team of knowledgeable experts can ensure your new system is appropriately sized and keep your house comfortable all season long. 

At Holley Heating & Air Conditioning, your comfort is our #1 concern. Air conditioning system maintenance is the key to keeping your system up and running efficiently and cost-effectively. You can trust our experienced team to keep your system running smoothly in all seasons. Call us to schedule an appointment today.