A good HVAC system should last you years. However, on occasion, you might have to replace the system if it wasn’t well maintained or is out-of-date. There are a few things you should look for when you are buying a new unit. But, that’s just the start. Knowing what you should expect from the installation will help you prepare your home and your wallet for the new HVAC unit.

Buying a New HVAC System

One of the first things you will need to do is buy a new HVAC system. Whether you are simply upgrading the model or switching to something completely different, there are a few things you should know.


Size of the unit is critical to the longevity and performance. You want to purchase something that isn’t too small or too large. A unit that isn’t the correct size will work too hard and drive up the cost of your monthly energy bills. An HVAC contractor can give you more information, but here is a rough guide on size:

  • 1.5 tons – 600 to 1100 square feet
  • 2-tons – 901 to 1400 square feet
  • 2.5-tons – 1201 to 1650 square feet
  • 3 tons – 1501 to 2100 square feet
  • 3.5 tons – 1801-2300 square feet
  • 4 tons – 2101 to 2700 square feet
  • 5 tons – 2401 to 3300 square feet

Energy Efficient

The US government mandated a minimum energy efficiency back in 1992. Since then the standards have changed, but they haven’t gone away. Your system should not just comply but exceed these expectations. One rating to pay attention to is the SEER. It’s a snapshot of how well the HVAC will work throughout the year.


A rating the describes the efficiency of an air conditioning equipment. It specifically refers to the efficiency throughout a cooling season. The higher the rating, the more efficient it is.
Programmable Thermostat
There have been some technological advancements to the HVAC that make it easier for the owner to operate. One is the programmable thermostat. They are slightly more accurate in determining the indoor temperature than those who rely on a mercury thermostat. It will help lower your energy bills if you don’t have to turn it up too high.

Preparing for the Replacement

Prepare your home for the replacement of your HVAC to ensure you are getting the most from the experience.

Know How Long the Replacement Will Take

The length of time it takes to replace and install a new system varies on the complexity of the system. The average length would fall around one day. But, the more work required or, the more complex, the longer it can take. Talk with your contractor about the time they will need to complete the job. Something that might come in handy if the installation is during the peak of summer and winter. You can then make arrangements to find alternate places to stay until the project is complete.

Get the Area Organized

The good news is your contractor should complete a lot of the preparation. Expect them to lay down tarps and other items to keep your floors from becoming dirty or the furniture from getting dusty. Your HVAC contractor can move furniture. However, if there are items of considerable value to you, go ahead and store them safely so as not to take any chances. A professional contractor won’t get started until the house, and the items within are protected.

Replacing and Removing the Old System

Unless you are working with a new build, the chances are pretty high that you are replacing a unit rather than having an entirely new system installed. The crew will cut power to the old unit and remove the significant parts, refrigerant, and other components. The location of the system varies from household to household. Be prepared to let them into attics, crawl spaces, basements, and other areas, so they can effectively remove parts.

Modifications to Duct Work

The ductwork needs to match the HVAC system. Upgrades that are compatible will require a change to the ductwork. Usually, you can expect a crew to work in tandem with each other. One will remove and replace the unit while another will work on the duct work. Again, there will be a need to access crawl spaces in the house. You’ll need to be on hand to guide them to entry points.

Unforeseen Circumstances

A good contractor will get you most of the information you might need up front: estimate, parts, and time. But, there are some things that even the most in-depth inspection can’t foresee. During the installation, your contractor might encounter rot, drywall repairs, electrical upgrades and so on that would need to be completed. While they are unforeseen, they aren’t uncommon, so they will be able to provide you with a plan of action to get things up and running again.

Nashville’s HVAC Contractor

The success of your project relies heavily on the experience of your contractor. Nashville and Middle Tennessee residents can call Busy Bee to get an honest quote and exceptional service.

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