We are already deep in the heart of winter, so if your heater recently broke down, you’re likely tempted to just go out and buy the first one you can find that fits in your budget. However, rushing like this can be, and most likely will be, a mistake.
You might end up with a heating system that is too small for your home, or too big—both of which create efficiency problems. Or, you may be stuck with a heating system that isn’t the best fit for your home for other reasons, leaving you uncomfortable. But how do you know what heating system is best? We’ve created a brief guide below to help you explore your options.
The Central Furnace
With both electric and gas-powered options, furnaces are among the most popular heating systems used in homes today. They’re reliable, cost-effective, and widely available. Plus, they utilize the same ductwork and ventilation system that your central air conditioner does, which means no additional air ducts are needed to install a furnace if a central AC is already in place.
Heat pump systems are set up similarly to central air conditioning systems. The main difference is that there is a reversing valve that can be used to switch the direction in which refrigerant flows. Why does this matter? Because not only does a heat pump make an effective heater, but it also allows you to cool your home efficiently in the summer.
Ductless Mini Split Systems
This is another forced air heating system, except that like a heat pump, it combines the heating power of a furnace with the cooling power of an air conditioner—all without ductwork. This is a great option for homes that do not have the space to accommodate ductwork, or if you’d rather not contend with the indoor air quality issues that ductwork can present.
How to Get the Most from Your Heater
Whichever heating system you choose, there are a number of ways you can help maintain or improve the efficiency of that system.
Have your system regularly maintained. For a furnace, you should have maintenance scheduled once a year. Preferably, this would be right before you are going to use the system the most, in the fall. However, timing is less important than ensuring you schedule it annually.
Since a heat pump ductless system is used year round for both heating and cooling, it stands to reason that you would want to schedule maintenance services for the system every 6 months. Maintenance ensures that your heating system works as effectively and efficiently as it’s meant to for the years to come.
Use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to set your heater to turn on when the temperature drops to a certain degree. This is far preferable to simply letting your heater run all day, even when you are not home (as this is a waste of your valuable energy).
Utilize your ceiling fans. You already know that a ceiling fan can be used in the summer to help distribute the cooled air from your air conditioner further. But did you know there’s a switch on your fan that allows you to reverse the direction of the fan blades, to have the same impact with your forced air heater in the winter? This is a great way to boost your heater efficiency and save on energy costs as you’ll be able to turn your heater down a few degrees.
Contact Wall Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for quality heating services and more in the greater Lawrenceville, GA area!