The best time to buy a new heater is before you need it. Installing a new heater in the spring and summer months gives you plenty of time to make important decisions about your investment in your family’s comfort and safety. When considering a new heater, keep these guidelines in mind.
Efficiency Ratings Matter
About half of your home’s overall energy use goes to heating or cooling it, so choosing a heating system that delivers efficient comfort can mean years of lower utility bills. Look for the heater’s AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Energy rating. Measured in percentages, this number indicates how much of your heater’s energy consumption winds up heating your home.
Get a Home Energy Audit
Before you decide on a heater, take a look at your home’s heating needs and energy efficiency. Spring and summer months are a good time to add insulation, seal ducts, and improve weatherstripping around doors and windows. To know where your home needs extra insulation or better protection from the elements, get a full energy assessment from a knowledgeable heating and cooling specialist. Another reason to get your audit done in the summer: You won’t have to contend with a long waiting list as people prepare their heaters for fall.
Choose Your Heater Type
Furnaces use different fuel types, each of which has its benefits. Natural gas furnaces are highly cost-efficient because the fuel they use is inexpensive and relatively clean, but they typically have a lower AFUE rating than electric models. Oil-burning models are less common in the south than they are in the northeast, but some older homes still have these furnaces, which provide powerful heat but can be costly. Electric furnaces offer greater energy efficiency than natural gas, but they may cost more to operate depending on the price of electricity and how long they run. Heat pumps are another option for energy-efficient homes and work well throughout most of a relatively mild southern winter, but they may not have the heating power to keep your home comfortable during an extensive cold snap.
Consider Installation Needs
Before you make a decision, think about the logistics of installation. The heating system you already have in your home and the infrastructure to support it can also influence your choice of of a heat source. If you live in an older home that originally had an oil heater or coal-burning unit that has since converted to natural gas, you would probably want to stay with gas for your new unit. In newer homes that are equipped for electric furnaces, you may prefer an electric heater to avoid the need to run additional natural gas lines into your home.
Work with a Professional Team
Your heater is a major investment in comfort and safety, and furnaces can last for decades with proper maintenance. With a decision this large, put your trust in a professional HVAC installation and repair service. Watley Heating & Air Conditioning hires only NATE certified technicians and has experienced installation teams available year-round for your heating and cooling needs. Call today at 706-561-6718 for more information about a new heating system.