Sooner or later, you will need to replace your heater, but is now the right time? Consider these factors when deciding whether to repair or replace your existing equipment.
- Age: If your furnace or boiler is 12 to 15 years old, it’s probably not worth spending money on a repair. This is particularly true if you have already spent money on a few repairs in the last year or two.
- Investment cost: Look at the cost of an upcoming repair. If it’s nearly 50 percent of a new heating system’s cost, choosing a replacement is more economical.
- Utility bills: One promising aspect of replacing your outdated equipment is that you can choose a high-performance system that consumes less energy. Start saving money on utility bills now and enjoy those savings for years to come by replacing your system sooner rather than later.
- What Should be Considered When Choosing a Heater Replacement?
- What Types of Heating Systems are Available?
- What are the Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Heater Replacement?
- What Energy Efficiency Laws Affect the Decision?
What Should be Considered When Choosing a Heater Replacement?
- Geographic location: Furnaces and boilers make the most sense in cold climates while heat pumps could be an energy-saving heater replacement in mild climates. However, keep in mind that all-climate heat pumps are becoming a viable option for residents of colder climates. Your geographic location also affects the efficiency you choose. In short, the more you spend on heating bills, the more worthwhile it is to invest in high-efficiency equipment.
- Home type and existing system: If you don’t have ductwork, it makes sense to choose a boiler instead of a furnace or heat pump. If your home is ducted, perhaps your air conditioner needs to be replaced soon. You could cut back on your investment by choosing a heat pump instead of a traditional furnace/air conditioner combination.
What Types of Heating Systems are Available?
- Gas furnaces are the most common type of heating system in the United States thanks to the low cost of operation.
- Electric furnaces cost more to operate, but they are often the go-to option when natural gas is not available.
- Oil furnaces require you to store fuel onsite. It’s another viable alternative to a natural gas furnace.
- Boilers are known for delivering quiet, comfortable heat in homes with no ductwork and are particularly popular for their use in radiant floor systems. Gas, oil and electric models are available.
- Air-source heat pumps move heat rather than generating it from a combustible fuel source. Thanks to a reversing valve, heat pumps can operate as heating systems as well as air conditioners. They are most efficient in mild climates where the temperature rarely drops below freezing.
- Geothermal heat pumps are often the most expensive heater replacement to install, but they produce incredibly efficient, environmentally friendly heating by transferring energy from the earth. The same as air-source heat pumps, geothermal systems can both heat and cool your home.
What are the Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Heater Replacement?
- Energy savings: Consider that heating accounts for upwards of 50 percent of your energy bills this winter. While a more efficient heater requires a higher upfront investment, the resulting energy savings are often well worth it.
- Improved home comfort: Advanced features that allow a heater replacement to perform more efficiently also make your home more comfortable. Expect fewer drafts and more even temperatures from room to room when you choose an energy-efficient heater.
- Environmentally friendly: There’s no reason why staying warm this winter should make you feel guilty. Conservative fuel consumption achieved by high-efficiency equipment is a step in the right direction for a cleaner environment without sacrificing home comfort.
What Energy Efficiency Laws Affect the Decision?
The EPA planned to put new furnace efficiency laws into effect on May 1, 2013. The proposed plan involved raising the current minimum Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) from 80 to 90 in the northern United States. However, this plan fell through and the old requirement of 80 AFUE still stands around the country. Minimum boiler efficiency depends on the type of fuel. The minimum AFUE ratings for each type include:
- 80 AFUE for gas-fired steam boilers
- 82 AFUE for gas-fired hot water boilers
- 82 AFUE for oil-fired steam boilers
- 84 AFUE for oil-fired hot water boiler
To learn more about making an efficient heater replacement, please contact Green Apple Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning. Our skilled technicians can provide the professional replacement you’re looking for.