Buying A New Heating System? You Have Lots Of Options
If you’re thinking about buying a new heating system, you have a whole range of options to choose from. Although it’s often simpler and more convenient to replace the system you have with a more efficient version of the same system, you don’t have to go that route. Many homeowners retrofit their homes for a different system. Consider your priorities and budget, and consult with a trusted HVAC-system professional. He can provide you with valuable information and advice. Regardless of the system you choose, you can rest easy knowing that you will be cutting your energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint. Here are some of your choices:
- Natural-gas furnaces and boilers have become much more efficient over the years, and if yours is more than 10 years old, you could see immediate and significant savings in your monthly energy bills. Talk to your trusted professional to find out how much you could save this winter.
- Geothermal systems work by channeling the earth’s heat into your home via a pipe system. They are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
- Air-source heat pumps are another option. Although their technology is improving year by year, you may still want to couple your heat pump with a furnace, which will go on only when the temperature is extremely low. This is because many heat pumps lose efficiency when the temperature drops under 40 degrees. This type of heat pump-furnace complement is called a dual-fuel or hybrid system.
- Radiant floor heat provides homes with a cost-effective solution that is vastly different from more traditional methods but just as effective and more comfortable. Hot water pipes are installed under your floor, and the heat they produce warms the floor evenly, which in turn warms your home evenly, eliminating hot spots and keeping your energy bills down. Radiant heat is considered ideal for those with allergies or other respiratory problems, as no dust is blown around.
- The ductless mini split is a highly efficient heat-pump system that’s ideal for a smaller home or an addition. Like geothermal and other air-source heat pumps, it extracts heat from the air and transfers it instead of combusting fuel, as furnaces do. The mini-split requires no ductwork, so if you’re adding onto your home, you won’t have to concern yourself with extending the ductwork from your furnace. Neither will you have to worry about replacing your furnace to accommodate the additional square footage. Some advanced ductless mini-splits can maintain their high efficiency at temperatures well below zero.