Plan Your Combined HVAC System Upgrade Project Carefully
Generally, GreenHomes recommends improving your home’s insulation levels and reducing your home’s air leakage rate prior to installing high-efficiency heating/cooling (HVAC) equipment. This is done so you can more accurately match the furnace, boiler or air conditioner size to the heating/cooling demands (also called heating/cooling loads) of your home. However, if your heating system is very old, inefficient and unreliable, installing new heating equipment and/or a new duct system as a priority to make sure your home will have heat in harsh, wintertime conditions is important. As a result, learn more about implementing and planning a combined HVAC system upgrade.
When upgrading your older, existing heating system, follow these steps:
- Air seal and insulate your home whenever possible as part of your heating system upgrade
- Make sure an ACCA Manual J type of heating/cooling load calculation is completed
- Select a high-efficiency combination system (93% AFUE or greater for natural gas and propane gas systems)
- Include duct sealing and duct insulation or heating pipe insulation as part of the combination system upgrade
- Don’t forget - Proper maintenance of your new combination system is important!
Remember, combination units can be used in the following configurations:
- With an air handling unit to provide forced air heating (like a furnace). This configuration allows for easy inclusion of central air conditioning to the system.
- With hydronic heating piping (like a traditional boiler) using baseboard fin-tube or radiators.
- With in-floor heating piping to provide radiant heating.
- As an instantaneous or on-demand water heater that can provide an endless supply of hot water.
Overall, combination systems provide all hot water needs for the home (heating and domestic hot water) reliably with a high level of efficiency.