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Heating System Replacement: What Are My Choices

replacing heating system new york

Know your options for keeping your home warm and comfortable

Do you know when the best time to replace your home’s heating system is? Spoiler: It’s when you’re not forced to because your current one went belly-up.

When that happens, you’re rushed. You don’t have time to think everything through, especially in the middle of winter when your house can get dangerously cold and you are risking frozen pipes. And sometimes, you just have to take what you can get.

Most home heating systems, with good care, can last 15 years or longer. But if your current furnace or boiler is 10 years old or older, now is the time to do your research and start planning for replacement.

Here are some things to think about as you prepare for replacing your heating system:

Do I want to change my heating system?

If you have a boiler, your heat is delivered around your home through pipes into radiators and baseboard radiators. While boiler heat is less drying than forced-air heating, it doesn’t use ductwork. You need ductwork if you want central air conditioning in your home. Switching from boiler to furnace, and vice-versa, is a pricey proposition.

Do I want to change my heating fuel?

If your home heating system runs on electricity, this is a great time to get more comfort while spending less on energy costs! Your choices for fuel include heating oil and propane.

Heating oil provides efficient heating that gets your home warm faster than any other fuel source. It’s also much more clean burning than just a few decades ago, so it’s eco-friendlier than what you may first perceive, also.

Propane offers all the benefits of gas without having to be in a community with natural gas connections or having to deal with the hassles of natural gas such as being without gas thanks to a gas main failing somewhere. Propane is clean-burning, super energy-efficient, and versatile. When you convert to a propane home heating system, you can also add propane appliances like a water heater, range, fireplace, clothes dryer, and more!

Do I have the right size heating system?

If you’ve added space to your home through a home addition being built, or finishing spaces like a sunroom or attic, your old heating system may not have been enough for it. Depew Energy’s equipment experts can make sure you get the right size heating system for your home so you get maximum comfort and efficiency throughout all areas of your residence.

What other factors should I consider?

Efficiency: Furnace and heating efficiency are expressed by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the unit. Standard efficiency furnaces have an AFUE of 80% while more expensive high-efficiency units that capture spare heat from the exhaust stream offer AFUE over 90%. What’s more expensive up-front can certainly reduce wasted energy.

Short Term and Long-Term Investment: It’s important to strike a balance between initial expense and future costs. Be cautious about considering just the upfront purchase price when selecting a new system. A lower-efficiency unit from a lesser-known manufacturer may have a lower sticker price. However, higher monthly operating costs year-after-year will erase that saving and expenses imposed by reduced reliability and more frequent repairs that may add up, too. Often, cut-rate units don’t offer warranty terms that are as consumer-friendly as units from recognized, name-brand manufacturers, either.

Existing Infrastructure: You may be doing yourself a disservice by connecting a brand-new heating system incorporating the latest technology to old, deteriorating household ductwork. You will lose a large volume of conditioned air through duct leakage before it even reaches the rooms it’s supposed heat. Have the ductwork tested for leaks at the time the HVAC system is installed (in many areas, local codes now require this.)

If the leakage rate exceeds standards, your HVAC contractor can present options to seal the ductwork. Similarly, if you haven’t upgraded the insulation in your home in many years, it’s probably under-insulated by today’s standards.

Ready to upgrade your home’s heating system? For professional assistance in selecting a new system, as well as qualified installation and maintenance, contact the pros at Depew Energy to get started!