It is usually around this time of year that people start to realize that they need to do something about their home heating system. You have probably already received your first major heating bill of the year, and are no doubt conscious of the fact that things are only going to get worse in the months to come. So what are your options?
Many people are surprised to find that a well-qualified and equipped HVAC contractor can successfully complete work on your house in the dead of winter. If your wallet is already feeling the strain of the heating season the first thing to do is to have a home energy audit. And contractors who use IR technology to complete energy efficiency audits are actually happy to do this in winter because the high contrast in in-door to out-door temperature (generally) leads to high quality IR images.
In many cases increasing insulation in your attic and walls, and sealing cracks and gaps that allow hot air to escape and cold air to enter, will have the most bang for your buck, and can lower your bills more than replacing the heating system in your house. There are some cases, however, when forking out the dough for a new heating system is the best bet.
Choosing a heating system is not nearly as easy as it sounds—especially since many homes have systems that weren’t properly spec-ed, sized, or installed. The local climate, the architecture and existing infrastructure of your house, the cost of the system, and the cost and availability of different fuels will all come into play in your decision. The many choices available and the long-term nature of your decision is why it is important to have a professional guiding you through the process.
Even if you are a competent handy-person and have done your research in order to choose the best system for your house, it is advisable to have a professional install the unit, or at the very least do a comprehensive check of your work to ensure the safety of your home. Carbon Monoxide in the home is extremely dangerous and not something worth risking.
If you need a new heating system for your home you might be a bit baffled by all options available to you. In the next few week I’ll explain some of the more common heating systems available to you.