Skip to Content

Essential Buying Criteria for HVAC Systems


Every home has a unique set of heating and cooling requirements. This is why knowing essential buying criteria can help you make informed decisions when discussing your options with an HVAC technician. In this blog, HVAC contractor John Stevenson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. shares the criteria that you should look for when buying a new HVAC system.


The ductwork distributes conditioned air throughout your home. It’s important that it be properly sized and balanced during construction; otherwise, you’ll have issues such as insufficient output and uncomfortable areas in your home. Make sure the ductwork is properly insulated and sealed, particularly at long runs.


Air conditioners and heat pumps use refrigerant to generate conditioned air. A certain type of refrigerant called R-22, or HCFC-22, is scheduled to be completely phased out by 2020, with phase-out efforts already underway. When choosing a new HVAC system, make sure it uses environmentally-friendly alternatives such as R-410A. A capable cooling and heating repair technician can help you find a compatible HVAC system.


The more efficient your HVAC system, the more energy you’ll save. Heating and air conditioning systems that bear the ENERGY STAR® label are certified for energy efficiency. You can also check specific energy ratings:

  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) — SEER applies to air conditioning systems. Look for air conditioners with at least 13-SEER. Today’s air conditioning systems can be rated as high as 25-SEER.
  • AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) — AFUE applies to fuel-based and electric furnaces. The ratings are represented in percentages. The higher the rating, the more heating you get for the fuel cost.
  • HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) — HSPF applies to heat pumps. Look for models with at least 8.2 HSPF.

Air Filters

Air filters require cleaning or replacement every few months, or in some cases on a monthly basis during seasons of heavy use. If you find yourself doing this too often with your existing HVAC system, consider upgrading to electrostatic or HEPA filters.

John Stevenson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is your leading provider of HVAC repair and installation services. Give us a call at (760) 276-6690 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.