Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heating System

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heating SystemWhen it’s time for furnace replacement, you’ll have a number of heating system options to consider. But, first: How do you know it’s time? A gas-fired furnace has a typical service life around 15 to 20 years. If your present unit is approaching that range, now’s a good point to start thinking about heating system options.

Additional factors which may sway that decision include:

  • Expensive repairs. If a critical component like the furnace heat exchanger requires replacement, the expense is probably not warranted for a unit that’s already past the halfway mark of its service life.
  • High operating costs. By replacing an aging furnace with a new model built to meet today’s efficiency standards, you’ll get lower monthly operating costs plus improved heating performance from day one.

Capacity Matters

Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade to a new system, get a heating load calculation by a qualified HVAC contractor. This procedure quantifies the heating requirements of your house to produce optimum furnace performance and efficiency. Accurate load data allows you to match a heating system with the appropriate BTU capacity: not too little, not too much. Don’t rely on the capacity specs of the existing unit you’re replacing. Furnaces were frequently oversized in the past when energy costs were lower, leading to excessive consumption and higher heating expenses over the entire life of the unit.

How Efficient?

Furnace efficiency is rated by AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), representing the percentage of energy converted to heat versus that lost in the combustion process. Standard efficiency furnaces are 80% AFUE. High efficiency condensing furnaces deliver AFUE above 90% and ranging as high as 96%.

Higher efficiency units also carry a substantially steeper sticker price, though energy savings will eventually compensate for this over an extended time frame. A qualified HVAC contractor can help you make the right call between short-term savings of a standard efficiency heating system versus the long-term, delayed benefits of a high-efficiency unit.

Homeowners today have many heating system options to consider. The professionals at Paitson Bros., locally owned in Terre Haute since 1922, are ready to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating and cooling systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay” 

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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