Eventually, your heating system will stop operating at peak performance. The older your heating system, the less efficient it is and the more costly it is to run and maintain. With winter around the corner, now is the perfect time to do your research and determine which heating system is right for your home and budget.
Replacing your furnace or boiler is a huge investment. And selecting the right one could result in lower utility bills and warmer nights. So before you go out and purchase new equipment, consider the numerous features and options available:
Surprisingly, not all homeowners can answer that question with 100 percent certainty. In simple terms, a boiler uses hot water to heat your living space through baseboard radiators, while a furnace uses warm air circulated through a duct system.
When selecting a new furnace or boiler, pay close attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, which lets you know how efficiently a furnace or boiler converts fuel to heat energy. The higher the rating, the less energy a system uses and the more heat you’ll get for your dollar. Energy-efficient heating systems typically have an AFUE rating of 90 percent or higher.
Bigger is not better in this case. It’s not as simple as duplicating the same size of your existing equipment. A system too small will struggle to heat your home to comfortable temperatures, while an oversized unit will turn on and off frequently, or “short cycle”, creating uneven temperature swings. Installing the wrong size equipment can place an unnecessary strain on your system, resulting in higher energy and maintenance costs, and can cause a breakdown before its time.
A single-stage furnace is less efficient because it has one setting, which means it runs at full blast when on — no matter how cold it is outside.
The two-stage furnace is more energy-efficient and runs on a lower setting for longer periods, but maintains a more constant temperature throughout the house.
A furnace with variable-speed technology is the most energy-efficient as it operates at different speeds to more accurately control the flow of heated air throughout your home.
Chilly weather will be here before you know it. So now is the time to test your heating system. Don’t wait for the first cold snap to hit. That’s when folks turn on their furnaces or boilers for the first time during the heating season — only to find out their equipment needs servicing. So you may have to wait for service if you have a problem.
If you have a furnace:
If you have a boiler:
The final step for both systems is to set your thermostat above room temperature and to “heat.” If your heating system doesn’t start, be sure to check the emergency switch, fuses and circuit breakers.
For more information on replacing your heating system call 877-466-3657 or click here to request a quote.