3 Considerations For Forced Air Heating Retrofits

Installing a forced air heating system into an old home is an excellent way to modernize while increasing comfort and resale value. However, HVAC retrofits typically involve substantial disruption and even demolition within your home. As a result, it's crucial to ensure that your new system meets your family's needs so you get the most value for your money.

If you're considering a forced air heating install before winter arrives, pay attention to these three critical factors that can impact the efficiency, value, and comfort of your new HVAC equipment.

1. Previous Equipment Size

If you're upgrading to forced air heating, your home will likely already have heating from baseboard heaters, radiators, or similar hydronic equipment. When installing new equipment, it's easy to use the size of your old heating equipment as a guide. However, this approach has numerous downfalls that you'll probably want to avoid.

For example, many older homes use oversized boilers. Sizing your new furnace based on this equipment can result in inefficient heating, short cycling, and other problems. Instead, you'll want your contractors to perform a detailed load calculation to determine your home's exact heating needs. This calculation will ensure you install correctly-sized equipment that can heat your home quickly and efficiently.

2. Ductwork Sizing

Ductwork installation is part of retrofitting any forced air heating system. The size of your ductwork determines the amount of air that can flow through it, but ductwork sizing is about more than just how much air you feel coming through your vents. Your heating equipment requires adequate airflow to operate efficiently and avoid potentially dangerous overheating conditions.

If you want to install high-efficiency equipment, you may need to install larger ductwork to accommodate its needs. This larger ductwork may be more challenging to fit into existing walls or ceilings, so it can impact the time and cost of your installation. Make sure you discuss these issues with your installer before settling on the equipment you want.

3. Demolition Needs

The layout of your home can often mean the difference between a relatively quick and easy retrofit and one that requires extensive demolition. Before beginning your project, make sure your installer explains where they'll need to cut into walls, ceilings, or other parts of your home. In some cases, you may be able to avoid substantial demolition by installing ductwork in closets or other out-of-the-way areas.

In most cases, you should be able to retrofit ductwork without causing severe disruption to your home. Talking with your installer both before your project begins and while it's underway can help you avoid unexpected problems and ensure your heating retrofit improves the comfort of your home without ruining its charm.

Contact a company like Carolina Air Care to learn more.