Everything you need to know about your heater
Besides knowing that you need one to keep you warm during those long winter months, what do you really know about your heating systems? There are several different types of heaters, tons of functionalities, and countless issues that can arise from these complex systems. Don’t worry, you don’t need to become an HVAC expert, but here are the things that you should know to maintain your heating system and know when it needs a repair.
Three types of heating systems
Furnaces heat the air in a central location and then pump the hot air throughout the house. The air is heated through a flame that has adjustments depending on the type of furnace you have. Single-stage furnaces are the most common and least expensive, double-stage furnaces are slightly more expensive and offer more control, and modulating furnaces. Furnaces sit inside of the home and can run off of gas, oil, propane, or electricity.
A heat pump system utilizes refrigerant to pull the heat from the cold outdoor air in the winter, and to pull the cool from the hot outdoor air in the summer, and pump it inside. These units sit outside of the home and run on electricity. There are several types of heat pumps including air-source, central-air, and geothermal heat pumps.
Finally, there are boilers, which heat water and produce either hot water or steam to heat your home through radiators, radiant floor systems, or a coil. More commonly found in older homes, and can run off of coal, oil, or gas. Sometimes homes have combi-units that also manage the house’s hot water and heat, all within one system.
Maintaining your heater
As with any of your major house systems, it is important to schedule a routine checkup for your heater annually. You may be due for a heater repair or replacement that needs frequent repairs, is performing poorly or inconsistently, or if you notice a significant increase in your energy costs.
A good rule of thumb is to replace your heat pump every 10 years (or if it is rated 10 SEER or less/ 8 HSPF or less) and replace your furnace every 15 years (or if it’s rated 10 SEER or less). The reason your HVAC experts will recommend a replacement over a repair is if the cost to maintain your current system outweighs the cost of replacing the system.
Remember, the cost of getting your heating system checked each year is much lower than the cost of having to replace your entire system because something went unaddressed. However, replacement is inevitable sometimes. Replacing your outdated heating system could save you money in the long run with energy savings, and you could qualify for certain tax credits and rebates.
Be sure to schedule your annual heater repair or maintenance checkup with us today, and make sure you stay warm throughout these winter months!