HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC)

The climate in Texas allows homeowners to experience warm and cold seasons throughout the year. In climates where the weather is not mild year-round, homeowners need a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system to maintain a comfortable environment at home.

What does HVAC mean?

HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. This all-inclusive term is used to reference the complete heating and cooling system in your home. Systems that control your home's air quality or airflow are likely part of your HVAC infrastructure.

What makes up an HVAC system/unit?

HVAC systems typically include furnaces, heat pumps, ductwork, and central air conditioning units. Each appliance works together to control your home's heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.

What are the different types of HVAC systems?

Common types of HVAC systems include split systems, heat pumps, and duct-free systems. HVAC systems can be powered by electricity or gas. To find the right fit, homeowners should consider cost, location, and environmental factors.

  • Split Systems
    Split systems are split across 2 primary units. A separate heating and cooling unit is ideal for homeowners that live in locations that get both hot and cold weather. With split systems, the temperature is controlled by a central thermostat. The heating system is typically installed indoors and the cooling unit is outside the home

  • Heat Pumps
    Heat pumps are a type of HVAC system that transfers heat rather than generating it. Unlike a furnace that creates and distributes heat throughout a home, a heat pump absorbs heat energy from the outdoor air, even in colder temperatures, and transfers it to the indoor air. Essentially, in cooling mode, a heat pump and an air conditioner operate in the same way, by extracting heat from indoor air and releasing it outdoors.

  • Ductless Systems
    Ductless systems provide flexibility to control the temperature of individual rooms instead of the entire home. Duct-free or mini-split systems are ideal for late additions to the home such as an added bedroom or re-purposed garage where the homeowner does not regularly access the space. Ductless systems often have a higher upfront cost but can reduce monthly utility costs through energy savings over time.

  • Air Filters
    When selecting a type of HVAC system, you should compare filter types and the location of your HVAC system to determine the best fit for your home. A Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating is used to determine the efficiency of air filters. Generally, a MERV rating of 8-11 is recommended for residential homes as it provides a less restricted airflow and can be cleaned or changed less frequently. Air filters can be added to individual rooms or be located in a central location.

    Centralized filters are typically found in the attic and require homeowners to only change 1 filter at a time. This option is better for some homeowners as it requires less frequent home maintenance. In comparison, filters that are located in the ceiling of each room are required to be changed more frequently but could provide better airflow; as the closer the filter is to the living space, the better the air quality.

What maintenance is required for an HVAC system?

Scheduling routine, HVAC maintenance is the best way to ensure you receive the maximum cost savings on your monthly utility bills. PreFix Preventive Maintenance, completes HVAC maintenance tasks include:

  • HVAC filter change (FREE up to MERV rating 11) 

  • Disinfect HVAC condensate line

  • Test HVAC supply and return temperatures

  • Inspect and clean HVAC condensate line termination point

  • Inspect HVAC condenser unit

  • Inspect HVAC safety features (drain pan, float switch, etc

Signs that your HVAC system needs professional maintenance

While regular maintenance can help prevent issues, there are several signs that your HVAC system may require professional maintenance:

1. Increased energy bills
If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bills, it may be a sign that your HVAC system is not operating efficiently.

2. Poor indoor air quality
If you or your family members are experiencing allergies or respiratory issues, it may be a sign that your HVAC system needs to be cleaned.

3. Strange noises or smells
Unusual noises or smells coming from your HVAC system can be a sign of a potential issue that requires professional attention.

4. Uneven temperatures
If some rooms in your home are significantly warmer or cooler than others, it may be a sign of an issue with your HVAC system. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to schedule professional HVAC maintenance as soon as possible to prevent further issues.

What is the cost of replacing an HVAC system?

The cost of replacing a HVAC system varies based on size, location, and the type of HVAC system in your home. On average, the price for a new HVAC split system ranges from $7,500 - $16,000 depending on the size (tonnage) of the equipment, type of system and efficiency of equipment requested. *Please note, for multiple systems homes, this pricing range is based on 1 system.

As a PreFix member, you’ll have a team of professionals in your back pocket to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. With PreFix Specialty HVAC, licensed technicians are available to inspect and update your system to save you more time.

If PreFix Specialty HVAC is not yet available in your location, our Contractor Management Team can coordinate with one of our pre-vetted partners team for you.

To learn how PreFix can help you with HVAC maintenance and more, contact us today.