As with choosing any appliance, there is no cut-and-dry answer. Various factors will indicate what type of system is best for your home.
Factor 1: Climate
The single biggest determining factor in the heat pump versus furnace debate, is the climate in which you live. A U.S.Link opens in a new tab or CanadaLink opens in a new tab climate zone map (for heating – not plants!) may help point you in the right direction. In general, areas with harsh winters fare better with a furnace, whereas areas with more moderate climates (temperatures that rarely dip below freezing, such as the south) fare better with heat pumps. Unsure about the best option for your climate? Consult your area Aire Serv® expert.
Factor 2: Efficiency
Regardless of climate, energy efficiency should be at the top of your want-list when selecting a heating system. Once you’ve determined the type of system you want, compare efficiency ratings and cost carefully. Heating accounts for up to 45 percent of utility bills, so it may not take as long as you think to earn back those investment dollars in monthly energy savings when you choose a more efficient model. Aiming for a highly efficient system – one with AFUE ratings of 90 to 98.5 – is recommended.
Factor 3: Fuel Availability
The price of fuels available in your area may influence your heating system choice. Oil, gas, propane and electricity are all viable options, however availability can vary by local, and price is far from static, each effected by and season, demand, and availability.
Factor 4: Home Age & Structure
Your existing distribution system – radiator pipes, or ductwork, for example – can greatly affect your options for replacement. Changing the type of system you have can result in added cost and labor (not to mention carpentry issues). In some cases the payoff may be worth it, in others it may not. Geothermal can be especially tricky, even with existing ductwork, as extensive ground space may be necessary depending on soil type.
Factor 5: Price
You may love to have a zoned, geothermal system, or a boiler over a furnace, but financially those options may not be in the cards. Luckily there are an array of budget-friendly home heating options, and your friendly Aire Serv professional can help you make the best choice to fit your home and family’s needs.
Tired of staring at that giant metal thingamajig in confusion? Aire Serv can help identify even the strangest system – and your best options for system replacement. Contact us today.