Building your own home or custom workspace can be so exciting. Finally, you can have everything just the way you want it instead of having to make someone else’s vision work for you.
But having the chance to bring your own vision to life can also add to the stress of the process – you want to do everything right the first time. Plus, if you are like most homeowners, your budget isn’t unlimited and mistakes can cost you.
Choosing your new-construction HVAC system may not be the most glamorous aspect of your new-build process, but get it right and we guarantee it will be one of the comfiest!
From heating and cooling options to ductwork decisions, cost estimates to installation approaches, learn what you need to know to make the perfect HVAC decision.
1. To Duct or Not to Duct
In past eras, any new construction consisting of more than two rooms would automatically be a candidate for ducting and installation of a central HVAC system.
Central HVAC systems with a traditional air conditioner paired with a traditional furnace are still the reigning favorite and give you the most options for how to combine your heating and cooling equipment.
Heat pumps are becoming more popular today and also pair well with ductwork. Compact and energy-efficient air-to-air heat pumps are great for smaller spaces. For larger spaces with more available land, geothermal heat pumps offer the greatest energy efficiency and a very long useful life.
But today, you have another cooling option that doesn’t require ductwork: the ductless mini-split.
A ductless mini-split offers quiet, efficient cooling and heating along with the option for zoned thermostat control, which means you can adjust the temperature as needed for up to eight different zones.
Ductless components are non-invasive, simple and compact. The indoor component can be installed on the wall or ceiling. The outdoor component connects to the indoor system by means of a single slim cable.
If you live in an area that doesn’t require air conditioning, a heating boiler paired with a radiator system is yet another option for non-ducted heating. As a perk, a heating boiler can heat your water, too.
2. Fuel Type: Electric, Gas, Propane, Oil, Off-Grid, Combination?
Homes and workplaces today have a dizzying array of options when it comes to fuel.
Fossil fuels are slowly being phased out in favor of more planet-friendly resources, but this process takes time and sometimes traditional fuel sources are still the most readily available and economical choice.
It can be smart to survey power costs for your area before deciding to go all-electric, gas or propane-powered, for instance. Don’t just look at the price today but also examine the trends going back a few years to get a good idea of what you will spend annually (talking to your neighbors can also help here).
Off-grid options like solar and geothermal can require more up-front investment. However, to compensate, they are historically low-maintenance options with a useful life of up to 50 years, meaning these systems typically pay for themselves early on and can even make you money if you can sell unused stored power back to the power company.
In many cases, it is possible to mix and match electric, gas and off-grid options to conserve energy and keep your power bills manageable.
3. Ventilation: How & How Much
As concerns about our planet’s dwindling natural resources continue to increase, there is rising pressure on the construction industry to create new air-tight construction practices to conserve energy.
This has been great for the average homeowner’s power bill but not so great for people’s health. As indoor spaces become more airtight, the ventilation that ensures a continuous supply of fresh, oxygenated air is increasingly absent.
This means it is no longer enough to open a window or door on nice days, especially during the hot summers and long cold winters when the result is a corresponding need to crank the cool or heat.
Ceiling fans aid greatly in air circulation, which can help you conserve energy and lower power bills by inching your thermostat up without feeling noticeably warmer, but they don’t serve a useful ventilation purpose.
In the Toronto area, all new construction is now mandated to include a heat recovery ventilation system – you can think of it as a set of mechanical lungs for your home, since most new construction spaces can no longer “breathe” on their own.
Heat recovery ventilation not only ensures a steady supply of fresh incoming air but it also helps conserve otherwise wasted heat energy and balance the humidity inside your home.
4. Energy Efficiency Appliances & Fixtures
Once you have created your master list of systems and accessories, it is time to get down to the business of choosing the specific appliances and fixtures to outfit your new space.
From low-flow faucets and fixtures to high-efficiency HVAC units to tank vs. tankless water heaters and more, today’s appliances and accessories elevate conserving energy to a fine art.
Choosing the perfect mix of energy-efficient appliances and fixtures is one part selecting complementary systems and one part ensuring your space is set up to maximize their impact.
Selecting the right insulation, applying strategic weather stripping, identifying the optimal thermostat location, installing the right window type and even choosing landscaping that provides shade can all further reduce your carbon footprint and your monthly energy bill.
Why Choose Bi-Temp for Your New-Construction HVAC Needs?
We are licensed and insured to consult on air conditioning, heating, water and other needs for new-construction projects throughout Ontario.
We can also help you with expert installation on all makes and models of new systems and apply on your behalf for all available energy efficiency credits and rebates.
Get in Touch
Give us a call at 613-967-1066 or visit us online.