Making Smart Choices on a New HVAC System

Did you know that 50% or more of your energy bill comes from one of your biggest investments for your home or business… your HVAC system? That’s why it’s so important to make intelligent decisions when it’s time to buy a new one.

What Type of HVAC System Should You Choose?

There are four primary types of systems in South Florida: 1. AC Split Systems, 2. Heat Pump Split Systems, 3. Duct-Free Mini Splits and 4. Packaged Heating and AC Systems. Unless you are building a new home or doing an addition, the type of system in your existing home will largely determine what type of system will be the likely replacement.

The first two require indoor and outdoor units and ductwork in your home or building to transfer the air. A heat pump system can be more energy efficient and is ideal in moderate weather because it uses outside air to heat or cool the home.

The latter two are self-contained single units. Duct-free mini splits are ideal for garages, additions, offices and other isolated areas that can’t handle ductwork. They might be a little pricier but are still energy efficient. A packaged system still relies on ductwork and is usually installed on a roof or concrete slab near the foundation.

HVAC System JupiterWhat about size?

It’s crucial to your wallet and your comfort that you choose the right size unit for your home or business. A/C units are measured in tons, which do not refer to weight, but rather to the amount of heat they can remove from a house or building in one hour. To calculate the proper tonnage, a “Manual J” energy calculation is required. Check out this info graphic.

So when is it time to buy?

The obvious answer is when it keeps breaking down and you’re facing expensive repairs. But also consider these two factors:
1) Is it more than 6-8 years old? Even if it hasn’t stopped working, it might make sense for you to replace it. New units are quieter, more powerful, and most importantly, more energy-efficient, which also means lower energy bills. Plus, you might qualify for rebates or tax breaks.
2) Does it use R22 Freon? The federal government is phasing out R22 in order to conserve energy nationwide, which means the cost of this type of refrigerant is going up significantly. Eventually, you’ll have to replace your unit in order to switch over to the new refrigerant (R410A), but it may still save you money to do it now.

Need Help with Your AC Decisions?

All these choices can get confusing. At TRAVERSAIR, we love educating our community about how to be savvy system shoppers. Call us today at 561-746-7221.

Avoid Contractor Nightmare on “Your” Street

Have you ever tried to save money by hiring your friend’s handyman brother to remodel your kitchen? Or your father-in-law’s retired “HVAC technician” cousin to repair your air conditioner? Or the Groupon contractor du jour?

If you have, chances are they were unlicensed, charged you more than you were quoted and/or cost you dearly over the long haul because of incomplete or shoddy work. So here are some guidelines to help you make smart decisions about hiring a contractor.

1) Make sure they are licensed and insured.

Licensed contractors are required to have liability and workers comp insurance. You could be liable for medical bills or even be sued if an unlicensed contractor is injured on your job. In addition, it takes a license to pull permits. If your contractor doesn’t pull the proper permit, you may have trouble when it comes to selling your house. You can verify licenses at

2) Choose those who come highly referred by reliable, trusted sources.

Don’t get sold by a total stranger. Make sure your friends and neighbors can vouch for “excellent” quality. And there are a lot of scammers out there… people who will take your money and not show up or finish the job.

3) Ask for references… and contact them.

A referral from someone you know and trust doesn’t guarantee that the contractor’s work is consistent with all customers. Contact other references and ask qualitative questions such as how pleased were you with the work and would you hire them again. Get as many details as you can to make an informed decision.

4) Meet them and ensure you have a strong sense of professionalism, knowledge and trustworthiness.

If you have steps 1, 2 and 3 in place, then this one should be a no-brainer. But not always. Have them walk you through the process and make sure you have a secure feeling of trust.

When you have peace of mind about whom you hire, you’ll end up with a quality result at a price you think is fair. Because it’s about value, not cutting corners.

To schedule an air conditioning service or preventive maintenance appointment, call 561-746-7211.