Take Care of Your Heating and Cooling Systems and They Take Care of You
September 7, 2016
It is amazing how, in just a few short decades, we have come to rely so heavily on our heating and cooling systems for our comfort. In the United States, during the summer months, virtually the entire country is jumping up and down on the Grid with all of the weight of trying to keep homes and businesses at the comfortable temperature of 71 degrees. Air conditioners cost American homeowners $11 billion dollars every year, but with regular air conditioning services and maintenance, most units will be able to last and run efficiently for years.
The winter time in the United States is hardly any different when it comes to energy usage. It can get quite cold in many states, especially the northern ones. Having the right equipment in homes, like good residential boilers and furnaces can keep the heat flowing throughout the house during those long months when things feel like they will never thaw again.
Boilers will typically last about 10 to 15 years, and with dedicated professionals looking out for you along the way, they can perform at high efficiency for virtually every one of those years. If residential boilers are not for you, perhaps you might prefer furnaces, if the option is available. Furnaces last somewhere between 15 and 18 years. At the same time, you have to figure in the fact that traditional ductwork can result in cooling losses as high as 40%. That is not insignificant.
Most homes in the United States are heated with either furnaces or residential boilers. Furnaces heat air and then distribute that air through a duct system. Residential boilers heat water and provide that hot water or steam for heating purposes. Baseboard radiators and pipes distribute the steam throughout the home.
These days, we have the availability of an all-electric furnace or boiler. With these options, there is no flue loss through a chimney, making them much more energy efficient. At the same time, depending on where you live in the country, the high cost of electricity could prove to make these all-electric systems undesirable, despite their efficiency. If you’re into electric heating, though, consider having a heat pump system installed.
Another option if you’re looking for ways to maximize your energy efficiency is to have your furnace or boiler retrofitted. Retrofitting upgrades improve safety and efficiency of older systems that are otherwise still sound. Consider several factors when deciding on the retrofitting option. Is your current system close to aging out? No sense in retrofitting if your system is on its last few legs. At the same time, if your system would benefit from a retrofit, you’ll be able to take advantage of all of the advances in energy saving technology for a price that is less than purchasing a whole new system.
Get a hold of the experienced professionals in your area and ask them what they think. You’ll be glad you did.