5 Things to Look For in a Home Heating System

The time to plan for your new home heating system is before your current system breaks down. The last thing you want is for your 25-year-old furnace to go out on you in the middle of January, and you don't have a plan. Which means you're going to be at the mercy of whatever your installer recommends. After all, nobody wants to spend hours researching a new home heating system when their houses is slowly becoming more and more frozen with each passing minute.

What we're saying is this is a big purchase and we get it. Your dollars will go farther if you don’t impulse buy and can plan accordingly. Here are a few things you should consider to make the best choice for your home and pocket book when it comes to picking a new home heating system.

1. Energy Efficiency

Choosing an energy efficient home heating system can make all the difference on your long-term utility bill. Old-school HVAC systems miss the mark for the modern benchmarks of high efficiency. In fact, your previous generation system might be costing you money.

How's that work? Older heaters that still work get the job done for heating are probably operating at a much lower efficiency than you think. Let's say that two decades ago you got a new furnace that runs at 80% AFUE. As equipment gets older, performance drops as parts wear and components tear. Which means a new and even more efficient home heating system will save you a ton.

The best way to identify and select an energy efficient furnace or HVAC system is to look for the ENERGY STAR logo. Products bearing this seal of approval means that it means the energy efficiency requirements set by the government. Also, rebates are often available for the purchase and installation of new ENERGY STAR appliances, so you can save even more.

2. Size

Some say that size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to an effective home heating system, it absolutely does. If you’re looking for a new AC unit, choosing the right size is important. If it’s too big of a unit for the square feet, it won’t be able to pull moisture out of the air leaving homes feeling warm and muggy. A furnace that is too small will burn out quickly reducing the years of life. It will also not heat as needed and underperform.

Be sure and consult with a professional to get best results on selecting proper size of heating and cooling units. Physical size also matters as to where you will place your unit. New, modern units often have a compact footprint and can fit in smaller spaces such as a laundry room or closet easily.

3. Fuel Source

The best fuel choice to make when purchasing a new heating and cooling system is to buy fuel at the lowest possible price that will be in consistent supply, especially during the winter months. Fuel choices include electric, natural gas, heating oil, propane, wood, and so forth. The type of fuel source available can vary depending on where you are located. Electric is the most widely available and runs both common AC units and furnaces, making it a great and common choice.

Natural gas is widely considered a more economical fuel, especially in cold climates where heating bills can skyrocket in the winter months, but it’s not available everywhere. Geothermal heat pumps have become a more popular choice over the past decade as provides clean energy and is highly efficient. The upfront costs for geothermal are higher than its other heating peers, but you will save in the long run because this system relies on energy from the earth to heat your home. Oil and coal based heaters are more popular on the east coast of the USA, but are falling out of favor because of dependence on the petroleum industry as things are trying to shift to becoming more green.

4. Maintenance and Warranties

Each of these are important because they will save you money and hassle down the road. Regularly scheduled maintenance is critical to ensure your unit runs its life span of use so you will get your money’s worth. Be sure and discover what type of maintenance your system requires.

Oftentimes, contractors and installers will offer some sort of maintenance plan to properly maintain your system after the time of install. Warranties are typically offered by manufacturers and can vary in length and coverage. It's definitely something you want to find out before the purchase of your new system. If you find yourself facing a large repair bill, it's wise to see if it’s covered by the manufactures or installation warranty before you decide to replace or repair it out of pocket.

5. Cost

Last but certainly not least, cost is a very important factor to consider. New heating systems can range from the low $1000s up to the tens of thousands. Cost is reflected in the size of the unit needed as well as source of fuel and quality of the unit. Most household units are going to cost between $1800-$4000. As you shop, consider the balance of the needs for your home and the budget you have. Also remember that there may be extra costs for installation, as a professional contractor is highly recommended for best results with certain products.

Check out Our Home Heating System Selection!

Buying a new home heating system for your family doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. It’s best to shop around, take your time, find rebates and incentives that certain manufacturers may have and take your time making a decision. This process can be fun and enjoyable as you shop for a new heating that will help you save on your monthly bills while making life more convenient for you. So embrace the process and get shopping!

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