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Rating: 2 votes, 4.50 average.

Need to replace your HVAC system?

Posted 03-14-2012 at 03:40 PM by CptnRn

Need to replace your HVAC system? I attended a great continuing education seminar today on High Performance Residential HVAC and thought with the record heat wave, there are probably lots of systems failing around town and needing to be replaced. So I though I should share some information from the seminar with you.

Typical Residential Energy Use:
45% is for HVAC
12% is for lighting

so the largest potential for saving energy and dollars is in your HVAC system and related systems: insulation, duct sealing, weatherstripping, etc.

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The typical SEER rating for an HVAC unit installed in the 1980's was SEER 6.
Today SEER's range from 13-18.

Typical duct leakage is 25% in an older home. That is 25% of your energy and dollars being lost to duct leaks.

The typical grey flexible ducts installed in the 1970's is now becoming brittle and easy to crack, resulting in significant leakage in those homes.

Austin Energy Rebates can cover up to 20% of the cost of HVAC and conservation upgrades.

Austin Energy also has low interest Loans available to help home owners pay for these upgrades and high efficiency HVAC installations.

REMODELING TIP: Perform your energy and conservations upgrades before taking out a permit for other related remodeling, so you can get what rebates are available. Otherwise, no rebates are available on improvements related to building code required HVAC and energy conservation upgrades.

Allergies: Dust mites are the leading cause of children's allergies, as well as many adults allergies. Dust mites cannot survive below 50% humidity. Many newer HVAC systems provide vastly improved humidity control over older systems.

How old is your system? We bought our first house in 1981 and had to replace the HVAC system in 1996 when it was 15 years old. We still own that house, renting it out, the HVAC system is 13 years old so we expect we will need to replace it in the next few years. We have made every effort to maintain it well, changing high efficiency filters every 3 months and having the systems checked twice a year, cooling in the spring and heating in the fall. I have heard some people say you shouldn't expect them to last more then 10-12 years, but they all made their living from replacing said systems. This website suggests 15 years http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-ad...pectancy.shtml
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  1. Old Comment
    2010 Utility costs:
    In the City of Austin (CoA), electricity, water, wastewater & solid waste services are provided by CoA. Year round costs for a one story 2300sf house w/ 3 year old HVAC:

    Electricity: $67 - $207. Total $1,490/year. costs were 30% higher before new HVAC.
    Water $21-$115, Total $411/year
    Wastewater: $42/month *
    Solid Waste: $24/mo.
    Drainage/Street Maint: $15/mo.
    Gas (Texas Gas Service): $17-$104, total $541/year.

    *This is recalculated each winter based on your low water usage. I expect to see mine go down this year as my water use has been lower all winter.
    Posted 09-27-2012 at 04:22 PM by CptnRn CptnRn is offline
  2. Old Comment
    In July 2007 I had the 18 year old HVAC completely replaced on my 1989 house. It was the original unit except it looked like the interior cooling coils had been replaced by the previous owner at some time.

    2300 SF, 1 story house, slab on grade, with insulated glass windows. I went with ARS and went through the Austin Energy Home Performance program, which evaluates and upgrades if needed, the complete energy envelope of the home; insulation, ducts, sealing, and energy performance of the heating, cooling filtration, duct, electrical service and piping systems (gas, condensate drainage & refrigerant). Most improvements in those areas quickly pay for themselves in energy savings, AND their are rebates available through the program that also help compensate the homeowner for some of the cost of upgrades. ARS was professional and explained everything they were doing. The were prompt with appointments and courteous, showed up for work on time and completed it when promised. HVAC was installed in one day, and the weatherization installed on the second day. On the third day every thing was inspected by the City inspector and we were done. I was very satisfied with it all.

    In my case our new HVAC system was by Carrier. it included:
    - AC: 3.5 ton, SEER 16 AC Condenser, with "puron" refrigerant.
    - Gas Furnace w/ variable speed blower & 2 stage heat so it can respond at lower rates when needed.
    - Programmable thermidistate (temperature & limited humidity control).
    - Warranty: 1 year labor, 5 year free parts, 10 year compressor, 20 year heat exchanger.
    - Weatherization included adding some additional insulation as well as duct and register sealing.

    HVAC system was by Carrier.. $7,016
    Weatherization..................... $1,361
    Sub Total............................. $8,377
    Less Rebate..........................<$2,232>
    Net cost to Owner ................. $6,144

    City of Austin........................ $1536
    Texas Gas ........................... $ 396
    IRS "Tier 2" ......................... $ 300 I think this was a tax deduction rather then a rebate so it may have been misleading.
    Total Rebates....................... $2,232

    We are very happy with the performance of the new HVAC. The house is always comfortable, including on the coldest and hottest days . The units are so quiet we rarely hear them running.

    I have been keeping a graph tracking my utility usage since we bought the house in 2005.

    Since the installation of the new HVAC our annual electrical consumption has been only 65% of previous years and our gas consumption has been 89% of previous years. I need to calculate the savings in dollars, have not done that yet. But I'm confident the HVAC improvements are paying for themselves.
    Posted 09-27-2012 at 04:25 PM by CptnRn CptnRn is offline
  3. Old Comment

    See these threads:



    The following graph is the data from that thread. It charts the utilty consumption of different sized apartments and houses in Austin, Tx.

    Posted 09-27-2012 at 05:22 PM by CptnRn CptnRn is offline
  4. Old Comment
    A good discussion thread on Radiant Barriers: //www.city-data.com/forum/austi...-barriers.html
    Posted 06-04-2013 at 03:10 PM by CptnRn CptnRn is offline

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