It’s hard to picture now, but I remember when Rancho Cordova wasn’t an incorporated city. Back in the ‘90s, most folks, myself included, knew Rancho as just a little spot on the map that Sacramento residents drove through on their way to hiking or boating up in Folsom. But you wouldn’t know that now, not with the way the town has grown lately.
I did a little research because we’ve been getting a whole lot of calls from homeowners building new homes from scratch in the area. They all want help picking out an HVAC system that will be the perfect fit for their homes. After all, it’s not every day you build a home that’s a perfect fit for you. What I learned is that back in 2010, the US Census had the city’s population at 64,776 residents. More recent numbers kept by the California Department of Finance have its population at 72,203 residents these days. That’s a 10 percent population growth in just 7 years, almost double the rate of Sacramento’s—no small uptick in residents for the once-tiny hamlet.
It’s an exciting time to be part of the Rancho Cordova community, but with a new home comes a nearly overwhelming amount choices, from floors and windows to paint colors and heating and cooling systems. That’s why I want to share my professional tips for what type of HVAC system you need to turn your new four walls into a fortress of comfort for your family.
Tip #1 – Study Up
Become well versed in the dimensions of your house, even if it’s still under construction. Knowing the volume of your space is important. That way, when you meet with an HVAC professional, you’ll have the information they need to determine the ideal size for your HVAC system. Think of it this way, if you only have one kid you don’t need a giant minivan. You’d be wasting gas and space. It’s the same with your HVAC system.
Also, if an HVAC system is too big for your house, it will short cycle, meaning it turns on in bursts. You don’t want this, because constantly starting and stopping will inflict needless wear and tear on your equipment, leading to more costly repairs down the line and a shortened lifespan. An oversized AC unit is especially problematic because it has two jobs: to cool the house and to remove humidity from the air. To remove humidity, the AC needs to run for prolonged stretches, which it will only do if you’ve selected the correct size for your home.
Tip #2 – Placement Is Important
The location of your air conditioner is important when building a new house. It will be able to work much less strenuously if you install it on a flat roof, or on the shady side of your house. Information from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that an AC unit placed in the shade can function 10 percent more efficiently than one in direct sunlight.
And that metal box that sits outside your house? That’s a condensing unit, and its job is to transfer the heat inside your house back into the outdoors where we all know it belongs. The hotter the air around the unit is, though, the harder it is for condenser to do its job, decreasing its efficiency by up to 10 percent, just like your AC unit.
Tip #3 – A Good HVAC System Adds Value
Whether a new HVAC system adds value to your house depends on several factors. In Rancho Cordova, where the record high temperature for July is 111 degrees, AC is a necessity, rather than a luxury. But just having a unit installed isn’t enough to add to your home’s value; you must make sure your unit is efficient by following the advice in the tips above.
As of March 2015, the state of California has an energy incentive program that offers tax rebates for energy efficient air conditioning. There are also federal tax incentives for maximizing HVAC efficiency. A professional heating and cooling technician can help you understand these programs and refunds, selecting a system that qualifies.
Stay in touch with a trained HVAC professional throughout the design and construction process of your new Northern California home. If you pick an HVAC system that fits the size of your home like your family just seems to fit in your new picturesque bay window, you’ll keep your loved ones cozy and healthy for years to come, with the help of your HVAC, while saving yourself money on a monthly basis. Also remember that durable furnaces and energy efficient AC units add value to your home in the long run, driving up its worth over time and making them a solid gold investment for your new build.
Believe it or not, I recently read in Comstock’s Magazine that 52,000 people go to work in Sacramento each day. One of the things that has made Rancho Cordova such an explosive center for growth is its status as the area’s largest employment subcenter. Maybe you’re one of these workers, and you’re building a new house in Rancho to be closer to your job. Congrats! Just don’t forget to set aside time for selecting an HVAC system.
And don’t try to do this yourself, or push it off on a contractor or foreman. Involve a trained HVAC professional in the decision-making process as your home is built. Their knowledge will be an invaluable tool when picking a properly-sized unit and placing it in the right spot. Let’s face it, in Rancho and the rest of our area, it gets too hot in summer and uncomfortably cold in the winter. Aside from the walls and the roof, your HVAC system is the most important aspect in the comfort level of your new home. Let’s treat it that way.
Make sure you’ve picked the right HVAC system for your new house. Contact the heating and cooling professionals at Bell Brothers for help answer all your AC and furnace questions today.
Image via Jeremy Cai / Unsplash