Retrofitting Your HVAC System
Retrofitting is one of RP Carder Mechanical’s specialties. Retrofitting existing HVAC systems with new components takes creativity and problem-solving — two areas where we believe we are best. We enjoy each unique project, large or small, because they all have unique parameters and challenges to work through. And, we love seeing completed project that precisely meets our customer’s needs within their range of affordability.
Retrofitting is both an art and a science. Because of the complexity and range of choices in an HVAC retrofit it is wise to choose an experienced contractor. RP Carder Mechanical has a passion for retrofit projects and has been in the HVAC retrofit business for more than 15 years.
Most systems, such as furnaces and boilers, can be retrofitted to increase their efficiency and to reduce their maintenance and repair costs. These upgrades improve the safety and efficiency of otherwise sound, older systems. The costs of retrofits should be carefully weighed against the cost of a new, especially if replacement is likely within a few years or if you wish to switch to a different system for other reasons, such as adding air conditioning.
Other retrofits can include:
- Programmable Thermostats
- Upgrading and custom duct work in forced air systems
- Adding zone control for hot-water systems
Replacing Your System
Retrofitting may be the best option for you given the age and current operating efficiency of your system. However, if you choose to replace your heating system, you’ll have the opportunity to install equipment that incorporates the most energy-efficient heating technologies available.
“Although older furnace and boiler systems had efficiencies in the range of 56% to 70%, modern conventional heating systems can achieve efficiencies as high as 98.5%, converting nearly all the fuel to useful heat for your home. Energy efficiency upgrades and a new high-efficiency heating system can often cut your fuel bills and your furnace’s pollution output in half. Upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% to 90% efficiency in an average cold-climate house will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year if you heat with gas, or 2.5 tons if you heat with oil.” [source: energy.gov]
When replacing, there are still various factors to consider. RP Carder enjoys helping customers determine and assess the optimum solution for their needs, helping to keep both current upgrade costs and long term heating & cooling costs to a minimum.
- Age of your current system.
- Size of your current system. Older furnaces and boilers may be significantly oversized.
- Energy efficiency of your home. It’s best to address other efficiency options before sizing a new furnace or boiler because you may be able to use a smaller unit. Proper sizing is necessary to obtain the highest operating efficiency.
In cold climates, like Michigan, it usually makes sense to invest in the highest-efficiency systems. And, to the extent possible, RP Carder Mechanical recommends units with the ENERGY STAR® label, and can help you estimate gained efficiencies and cost savings.