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Common HVAC Questions

Can I add central air to my home?

Whether or not you can add central air to your home’s HVAC depends on which type of heating system is built into it: furnace or boiler. As the name suggests, a boiler system provides heat (the “H” in HVAC) through hot water. By contrast, a furnace system delivers heated air through a network of ducts: this is also how central air conditioning delivers cooled air. So if your home’s HVAC system uses a furnace for heating, there’s no obstacle to add central air!

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Is there an alternative to central air besides using window unit air conditioners?

For homes that don’t have (or can’t have) central air conditioning, it may seem that the only alternative is to use window air conditioning units on a room-by-room basis. But this is not your only option! A major development in residential HVAC in recent years is the mini-split system. Mini-split AC is sometimes referred to as “ductless air conditioning” because it doesn’t rely on the network of ducts required for central-air HVAC systems. Mini-split air conditioning systems are capable of cooling multiple rooms, even on multiple stories, and can be controlled by a thermostat for convenience. If your home doesn’t have ductwork but you are tired of the hassle of moving air conditioners in and out of the windows each season, talk to a Hurley & David comfort advisor about mini-split ductless air conditioning.

How much of my energy costs does my HVAC system use?

Based on information from the US Energy Information Administration, roughly 40% of a household’s energy consumption is accounted for by HVAC (both heating and cooling). This gives you a pretty good idea of how much you could save with a more efficient system! The next largest source of a home’s energy consumption is water heating equipment; this includes not just hot water for bathing but also for laundry, dishwashers, and other appliances. Hurley & David can help you find greater comfort and efficiency with your hot water system also, offering a range of tankless hot water options and energy-efficient AC units. If you want to spend less on your HVAC energy costs, we’re ready with answers!

What are the benefits of upgrading my HVAC system?

There are numerous benefits to replacing the HVAC system in your home:

  • Reliability — HVAC appliances can only be expected to last about 10 to 15 years. A newer system helps reduce the risk of a sudden failure. You don’t want to lose your heat on a cold January night!
  • Efficiency — With each new generation of heating or cooling technology, appliances become more and more energy-efficient. The energy cost savings from a new energy-efficient HVAC system can pay for itself over the course of several years compared to the less efficient, older models they replace. Save money & save the planet!
  • Comfort — Newer, more advanced heating and cooling appliances are developed to provide a more consistent level of comfort in your home. The temperature and humidity of the air in your home stay more consistent, and our expert technicians make sure your HVAC is balanced properly to avoid cold spots or drafts.

What is the difference between a furnace & a boiler?

A furnace provides heat by blowing warm air throughout the house through a system of ducts. A boiler provides heat by pumping hot water through a network of pipes attached to radiators (usually, baseboard units). Both systems are capable of operating at a very high level of energy efficiency, depending on the age and condition of the overall HVAC system. Because furnaces use ductwork to deliver warm air, they are also compatible with central air conditioning, delivering comfort to every room in the house all year long. Hurley & David services all makes and models of furnace or boiler: we’re ready to help make your home more comfortable no matter what system you have!

I bought a home; how can I tell how old my HVAC is?

An HVAC appliance, whether a furnace or a boiler, will have a sticker on it from the manufacturer that provides make and model info; this includes when the appliance was built and likely installed. You can reasonably expect that your appliance will last 10-15 years before requiring replacement. Whether your system is newer or older, it is very important to have regular HVAC maintenance! Hurley & David services all makes and models; if you join our Comfort Club you can enjoy priority HVAC service scheduling as well as discounts on related parts and labor.

We’re planning to add an extension; what’s the best way to expand existing HVAC?

Whether the HVAC system in your home uses ductwork (hot air) or radiant piping (hot water), adding to it is not necessarily a simple process. Depending on how much new living space you are adding, the furnace or boiler may not have the capacity to produce the additional heat required. Even if it does, an HVAC system must be properly balanced to deliver heat evenly: extending the HVAC system may lead to drafty spots in other areas of the home. Don’t rely on anyone but a licensed HVAC technician to design a system extension!

Fortunately, there’s an efficient alternative to extending your system when you need to add heating and cooling to a new living space: mini-split heat pump systems. A mini-split system, also called ductless air conditioning, is easier to install in a new living space than expanding your main system. They provide both heating and cooling and can be controlled by a thermostat.

Hurley & David are experts on mini-split systems: if you’re planning an extension or renovation, we’re ready to talk with you about effectively providing comfort to your new living space!

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