A Guide to Shopping for a New Residential HVAC System

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A Guide to Shopping for a New Residential HVAC System

How to Pick the Best HVAC System for Your Home

Merts Heating & Air Conditioning has serviced HVAC systems for over 70 years. If you’re considering a replacement, we have some advice to help you decide which may be the best new residential HVAC system for your home. There are many factors to consider, but choosing the optimal system for your home may decrease your monthly home energy costs and lower maintenance expenses. 

Types of Residential HVAC Systems

You may have options when choosing the type of residential HVAC system for your home environment. There are basically four main types of systems: 

  • Split system – one unit for cooling and one for heating. The heat pump is a variation of this type of system but is more efficient in milder climates.
  • Hybrid system – similar to split system but more advanced heating system.
  • Ductless system – suitable for homes where conventional air ducts cannot be used. Also good for providing heat and cool to single rooms.
  • Packaged system – offers high quality heating and cooling in one unit and usually in homes without basements. 

The HVAC professionals at Merts Heating & Air Conditioning are trained to assess your home’s square footage, layout, and current capabilities to offer options that are best for your overall comfort and budget. 

Residential HVAC System Efficiency Ratings

To judge a system’s performance, we use its efficiency rating. Each type of system has its own rating metric.

Gas furnaces use AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This number describes how much energy converts to heat, compared to how much is used overall. A high number indicates a more efficient furnace, so look for one that’s between 80% and 100%.

Heat pumps have a different rating system, Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (​HSPF). Look for a minimum HSPF of 7.4. An HSPF of 9.2 is optimal.

Air conditioning efficiency is measured in SEER, which means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Heat pumps may also be assigned a SEER rating. Generally, a 14 SEER will offer good performance while an AC SEER of 20+ is best. All units with a SEER of 14 and above will have Energy Stars. 

System Size

Having the right sized system is very important when considering a replacement or new HVAC. Bigger is not always better. A too-large system will be just as inefficient as not having one powerful enough. Your home needs a system that will remove the right amount of humidity to keep you comfortable and the indoor air healthy. Merts’ professional HVAC experts are trained to know the best sized system based on the calculated heat load for the overall size of your space in Steger, IL and Crown Point, IN. 


Never pick a heating or cooling system based solely on price. Your total available budget will always factor into the options we offer. But when choosing between contractors, cheaper is not always better. Energy efficiency and reliability are more important considerations. A unit that costs less up front might break the bank with high energy bills while also giving you headaches with unexpected maintenance costs. In the long run, you’ll end up spending even more money.

Choose the Right Installer

A residential HVAC system isn’t plug and play. You can’t take it out of the box, plug it into the wall, make some adjustments, and be comfortable. Choosing the right company from whom to purchase your system and have it installed makes a huge difference in your overall satisfaction. The HVAC professionals at Merts Heating & Air Conditioning are trained to assist you at every level of your purchase decision. They will offer the right solution specifically designed, customized, and fabricated for your home. Letting our Merts Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC technicians install your heating or air conditioning system will ensure all the components of your system are correct and the installation process is right for your system. Our HVAC installation services in Steger, IL, and Crown Point, IN, will make a significant difference in the efficiency, durability, quality, and functionality of your home’s comfort system.

Merts Heating & Air Conditioning has 70 years of experience helping homeowners with residential HVAC repairs or installations. Call us today to learn more about installing the best new air conditioning or furnace for you.