This week we will be discussing the code changes with the type of HVAC system used in new construction homes.
The last few weeks we have talked about the code changes in wall construction and air leakage. To start our discussion about HVAC’s it is important to understand what HVAC stands for, which is, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
These traits are vital for any new home for several reason, the obvious being to heat, ventilate, and cool your home, but as well as provide fresh clean air into your home. The updated energy code evaluates HVAC systems by efficiency and type of system being used. One surprise that we noticed was the decrease in minimum efficiency needed for a HVAC system. The new code transitions from a requirement of 95% to 94% efficiency. To us, this means the code is putting more emphasis on wall structure and air sealing the home. If a new home is sealed and built properly, any HVAC system would need to be used less often, and thus, use less energy.
Another important factor to look at while building a new home is the type of HVAC system. For instance, using a typical efficient HVAC system score minimum points, however, there are certain upgrades of this system that can help earn more points. There are also more than one kind of HVAC system. An example being both geo-thermal systems and ductless systems.
The geo-thermal is one exceptional piece of equipment, it draws energy from the ground to help heat and cool the home. Along with this, there are tax incentives for owning one. The next system, ductless system, also known as a mini-split are great for heating a cooling a small area. Typically, you will see them in smaller homes, bonus/pool rooms, apartments, and hotels. Each of these systems have their merits, the key is to find the right model for you.
I hope this helps and thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.
Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800.