Important House Design Considerations for Your HVAC System
Many people purchase properties that already have furnaces and HVAC systems installed. In that case, all you have to worry about is maintaining the current systems and ensuring they’re suitable for your family’s heating and cooling requirements.
However, when you’re in the desirable position of being able to build your dream home, there’s one more thing you need to think about, and that’s how your HVAC system can be integrated into the house design for efficiency and convenience.
When you’re busy focusing on how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll have, the logistics of a heating and cooling system can seem like a minor consideration. However, it can be pivotal to your comfort and heating affordability going forward. As your house sketches are being brought to life, take a moment to consider the following house design information
The Size of Your House
Before you purchase one new furnace, think about the size of your home. If your combined square footage over a single floor or more than one floor is upwards of 3,000 square feet, you may require at least two furnaces for efficient heating and cooling.
There are many advantages associated with having two furnaces for a larger home, including additional heat so that you don’t need to overwork a single furnace and enjoying even heat throughout your home. You also have more control over how warm or cool your home is, which can be crucial in the middle of summer and winter. A second furnace may also prove helpful if one is malfunctioning and to reduce wear and tear on both furnaces
The Positioning of Your Mechanical Room
Careful consideration should be given to the positioning of your mechanical room or boiler room. Typically, this is an entire room within your home or a furnace-sized cupboard discreetly tucked away out of sight and out of mind.
While it’s not an area of your house that you’ll often visit, its positioning while you build your home can be important. Many people install their furnaces in a garage, attic, basement, or utility room. While these areas can all be suitable, you may see the value in positioning your mechanical room or furnace on the garage side of the house.
Typically, rooms over garages have the longest heat runs, which means installing the furnace as close as possible may prove valuable for efficiency and possibly even reduced maintenance.
Some experts also recommend building mechanical rooms close to the exterior side of the yard. If you position it further away, you may need to have longer furnace and water tank venting, which might see the need for a more advanced system than you anticipated.
Don’t Forget Heat Transfer System Requirements
The building code is constantly changing, and one of the most recent changes relates to ducted heat transfer systems. You may need more walls on your home’s main floor to install these systems in the basement. If you only set the dimensions of your mechanical room to accommodate a furnace, you may need to extend them for the addition of a heat transfer system.
Be Aware of Increased Costs With Open Web Joists
Open web joists are trusses with parallel chords and a triangulated web system. When you’re trying to make your new property more eco-friendly, they can be a worthwhile consideration since they allow for thicker insulation.
While HVAC systems can comfortably cater to open web joists, you may find that installation costs can be more expensive. Sometimes, HVAC system installers are able to install the main duct lines inside the joists, but that’s rarely the case. Typically, installers have to close in the sides of the joists while installing the return air system, which can come at an increased cost.
Consider the Supply Duct
Your HVAC supply duct likely doesn’t factor into your thought processes when designing a new house, but it might save HVAC installation challenges if you at least consider it. During your home’s early stages of development, install window pockets in the foundation about two feet from the beam. By doing so, you may allow the supply duct to be installed along the total distance of the house, taking care of the heat runs typically located in the last joist spaces of the structure.
Considerations When Choosing a New Furnace
Alongside making sure your home can comfortably cater to a new heating and cooling system, there’s also the challenging process of choosing one. Many different models are available, including four different types: electric, natural gas, oil, and propane.
Out of all furnace options on the market, electric furnaces are generally the most cost-effective to purchase upfront. These furnaces pull cold air from your property into an exchanger where electric heating elements warm it up and push it through the ducts in your home to heat each space. They don’t produce carbon monoxide, making them safe for your home, but they might impact your electricity bill.
Natural Gas Furnace
Anyone living near a natural gas line may see the value in considering natural gas furnaces. They can be more affordable to run than electric furnaces and work by igniting gas inside the burner. The flames warm the metal heat exchanger, which heats the cold air from your ductwork. It then returns hot air through the ducts, warming your home. These furnaces require flues to exhaust gasses but are often considered faster and more affordable than their electric counterparts.
When you require fast heat, you might look at purchasing an oil furnace. They operate similarly to natural gas furnaces, but oil is drawn from an underground oil tank, converted into mist, then sprayed onto the furnace’s burner. Oil furnaces burn hotter than natural gas.
Propane furnaces can be installed by a vent on an external wall rather than with a flue. They are more efficient than natural gas, and you don’t need to burn as much propane to warm your home.
Designing and building a home can be an exciting project, but there can be a lot to think about. Don’t neglect catering to your HVAC system to avoid any costly installation issues later on.