When you live in the Capital Region, you know that many months of the year require heating your home. We have long winters here, and that means you need to have a heating system that operates both effectively and efficiently. Many people don’t really think about their home’s heating system until an issue comes up – and that can be a costly venture, depending on the level of repair. One of the most proactive things you can do is learn about heating your home – what types of heating are available, how to know if you need a repair, and what to do if you need a replacement.
Today, there are many different types of heating equipment available.
In the past, most people either had furnaces or boilers in their homes and often, the equipment didn’t provide homeowners with the best energy efficiency. As environmental concerns have increased over the years, HVAC manufacturers have worked to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of heating equipment. Boilers and furnaces from 15-20 years ago, for instance, may have been 60 percent efficient at best. Today, most manufacturers have equipment models that are up to 98 percent efficient; not to mention, there are new, innovative types of equipment that provide optimal heating and incredible efficiency.
Learn about the types of heating equipment available today.
While most people either have a furnace or a boiler in their home, there are other types of equipment available to help people stay comfortable. Learn about the types of heating systems you can get for your home to determine what may be the best system for you and your family.
Gas, oil, or electric boilers heat your home by moving heated water from a central point through a radiator. In homes with boiler heating systems, there is usually little to no ductwork, but instead, pipes that run the heated water throughout the home. In some applications, the boiler can also act as a water heater for the home.
Furnaces produce heat by combustion, heating the air, and then moving the heated air through the home’s duct system. Most people have a gas or oil furnace in their homes, although electric furnaces are also available.
Heat pump systems are unique in that they don’t require gas or oil to operate; instead, they use the heat from the outdoor air or the earth to heat your home. Because of this, they are a highly efficient type of heating equipment. What’s more, they can be reversed in the summer so that they also act as an air conditioner.
Ductless heating systems use heat pump technology, but instead of operating as a central heating system and using the home’s ductwork to distribute the air, they require no ductwork. They can be used in a single application to heat a specific area of your home or can be used to heat your entire home through a series of individual units. They are generally highly efficient, providing targeted comfort.
Resources to Help You Learn More About Heating Equipment & Efficiency
When you’re considering a new heating system, keep in mind that this is a major investment. Like a vehicle, heating systems are complex pieces of machinery that require appropriate installation and operation in order to work effectively, efficiently, and safely. Therefore, doing research is important. Reliable sources can provide you with a wealth of excellent information. That being said, there is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet and it can be tough to ensure that the websites you’re visiting are providing accurate content. To make this easier for you, we’re providing a shortlist of sites that can help you learn more about heating.
- ENERGY STAR: This is a government organization that focuses on helping people learn about energy efficiency. Additionally, it offers energy-efficiency ratings on various types and brands of equipment to help consumers make the best choices.
- Angie’s List: As an online review-collecting group, Angie’s List provides an overview of different heating systems, giving you the information you need to make the right choice for your home.
- The U.S. Department of Energy: This website offers useful statistics, data, and an unbiased review of the different types of heating equipment available, including their efficiency and effectiveness.
Heating System Concerns: How to Know if You’re Headed for a Breakdown
Of course, heating systems require regular maintenance in order to operate at their most effective and efficient best. Therefore, we recommend that consumers get annual heating maintenance regardless of the type of system they have installed in their home. Getting maintenance can help mitigate the need for repairs while keeping systems running smoothly. As systems get older, they often become less efficient and can need heating repairs from time to time. Here are five ways to tell if your system may be having issues:
- Age of Equipment. Most types of heating equipment last 15 years before they need replacing. If your system is nearing that age and hasn’t been performing as well as it used to, you might want to consider replacing it. Unfortunately, heating systems that haven’t been properly maintained can start to show signs of failure even sooner. You can help ensure your system lasts longer by getting annual maintenance and changing out filters when they are dirty.
- Utility Bill Spike. If you noticed an uptick in your utility bills over the past winter that doesn’t correlate with increased costs, then it means your heating is likely working harder to give you the heating output your home requires. Sometimes the solution is simple, like cleaning your system and changing the filter, but other times it can signal larger issues.
- Dusty House. If you’ve noticed a layer of dust on household surfaces lately, it’s likely your heating system is blowing dust, dirt, and debris around. The fix is usually simply changing the filter. Doing this helps your indoor air quality improve, and it helps your heating system perform better. Your HVAC contractor can help you change the filter
- Noisy Equipment. Mechanical equipment makes some noise when it operates. However, if you’re hearing grinding, banging, or squealing sounds coming from your equipment, it’s an indication of a mechanical failure somewhere in your furnace. Shut it down and call a licensed contractor to come help.
- Frequent, Costly Repairs. If your system has needed frequent, expensive repairs, you may wish to consider replacing your system. You can find out if a system replacement would be more advantageous than a repair by multiplying the cost of repairs by the age of your system. If the number is 5000 or more, then it’s probably a good time to consider a replacement.
Finally, choose a heating contractor you can trust.
Whether you need repair, replacement, or maintenance for your heating system, choosing a reliable contractor is important. When you choose a company like Family Danz, you’re choosing a family-owned business that has been helping meet the needs of people throughout the Capital Region for more than 30 years. And, we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, so you can count on us to provide you with quality products and services, and complete customer satisfaction. To learn more about how we can assist you this heating season, give us a call at 518.427.8685, and we will be more than happy to help you.