The options to heat your home are endless. Before replacing or installing a system there are questions you should ask yourself.
- How efficient do you want your system to be?
- Do you have any problems with humidity or dry air?
- Does your furnace now run all the time?
- Do you have any rooms that are too hot or too cold?
Replacing your furnace gives you more than warmth. This is the system in your home that takes the moisture out of the air and the system that can put moisture back in. This is the system in your home that will determine a majority of your gas usage. This is the system you will be hearing run in the middle of the night.
There are so many options to consider…
HEAT PUMPS – In a simple explanation, heat pumps use the air and the ground to heat and cool the home.
Air To Air Heat Pumps: These systems are an average of 2.5 COP (see frequently used terms) in efficiency. This means that for every dollar you spend to heat your home you get two and a half dollars worth of heat.
Ground Source Heat Pumps: These systems are an average of 4 COP (see frequently used terms) in efficiency. This means for every dollar you spend to heat your home you get four dollars worth of heat.
Dual Fuel: These systems use the combination of the heat pump and the fuel furnace. What’s the advantage to this system? It gives you the efficiency of the heat pump and then the additional efficiency of a gas furnace versus electric heat (used in air to air heat pumps.)
How does this compare to a regular gas furnace? The most efficient gas furnace made is a 96% efficient system. This means for every dollar you spend to heat your home you get $.96 worth of heat. Consider the price of natural gas… might be worth looking at.
FOSSIL FUEL FURNACES – Fossil fuel furnaces are anything that uses natural gas, propane, oil, etc. to heat with. This is a majority of what homeowners have. Even still, with these systems there are options.
AFUE: This is the abbreviation in mechanical terminology for efficiency. Your fuel furnaces can be anywhere from 78% to 96% efficient. Basically, for every dollar you spend, you get anywhere from $.78 to $.96 worth of heat. (Have you considered a heat pump?)
Single/Two Stage: The advantage of having a two stage furnace versus a single stage has truly only one advantage – comfort. It’s basically drive and over drive. In drive, the air heats the house more slowly and evenly versus coming on in over drive and pushing hot air into the house more rapidly.
Variable Speed: This has to do with comfort and efficiency. Variable speed allows the blower to run for about the cost of a 100 watt light bulb. The home owner could constantly run the fan on their furnace, circulating the air in the house for very little money. Why would you want to do this? Aside from moving the air, it also filters the air constantly. If you fight allergies, it’s something you would appreciate having in your home.
CONTROLS – The type of thermostat you put in your home can do so much more than most home owners realize. This is what controls a majority of the humidity in your home. In addition, it can be a huge energy saving benefit.
Thermostats: Thermostats can be as simple as on and off, hot and cold. They can also be money saving. Digital Programmable thermostats can keep your house warm in the day and cool it off at night. Keep you frigid and comfortable during the weekend and save you money during the week while you’re at work. For not much more cost than the most inexpensive thermostat they can make a large dent in your utility bill.
Thermidistats: Take digital programmable thermostats one step further by helping remove or add humidity from your home. Very simply put, this is done by controlling how your heating and cooling system runs.
Evolution Systems: Goes one step further. This system not only helps control humidity it also helps control air flow. For people who have rooms that don’t heat or cool evenly, this system can be one solution.
HEATED FLOORS – Heated floors can be simply a comfort in some applications while in others, truly being the best way to supply heating. Without adding an additional system to your home or without increasing the size of your existing system, heated flooring can give you some additional warmth and comfort.
Heated flooring is simply an electrical grid that is adhered to a concrete pad or sub-floor and controlled by its own thermostat. For the added comfort, it’s a must see. (For more information go to www.suntouch.net).