First Time Buyer’s Guide to Heating Systems

There is nothing quite like fall in Parkville. Mo. The days grow shorter, the nights get cooler and the warm, golden display of color transforms our trees. Our little Missouri town really comes alive and we love it! School is in full swing, the boys are busy and we start looking forward to Halloween parties, a visit to the pumpkin patch, Thanksgiving and family time.

With the cooler weather heading our way, it’s also time to start focusing on your HVAC system with furnace maintenance and repair to get your house ready for winter. First time home buyers have unique challenges when it comes to furnace repair or replacement and often find themselves choosing a new heating and ac system in a short amount of time. For those of you in the middle of this, we’d like to share our First Time Buyer’s Guide to Heating Systems.

Analyze your home energy usage. Before you decide on an HVAC unit, look at your home energy usage. Where is most of your energy going? Are you utilizing ceiling fans to help circulate air? Have you replaced your furnace filters or had your ducts inspected for leaks? There may be other energy improvements you can make to your home at the same time that will help reduce operating costs and allow for a smaller, less expensive HVAC replacement system. Your home’s heating and cooling costs can account for up to 56% of your energy usage so your energy-efficient furnace should be designed to fit the size of your home and your energy needs.
Know Your Type. Tall, dark and handsome or clean, quiet and efficient? Is your current HVAC unit a natural gas furnace fueled by natural gas, propane, heating oil or electricity? Or, are you looking at replacing a boiler or heat pump? When choosing a new heating unit look for a high heating efficiency rating measured by AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) which measures how efficiently the furnace or boiler converts energy into fuel. An AFUE of 95% means that 95% of the fuel is converted into heat for your home and the other 5% escapes through the fuel. The Department of Energy requires all new furnaces and boilers to have a minimum AFUE of 78% to meet energy-efficiency regulations. The more efficient your heating system is the more money you will save in the long run.
Utilize Technology. New thermostat technologies can make all the difference when it comes to saving you extra money. Some models offer Wi-Fi connectivity, smart phone companion apps, web portals and easy to program features. According to the EPA’s Energy Star Program you can save about $180 a year by properly setting your thermostat and maintaining those settings. Just setting it back 1 or 2 degrees can result in 1 percent to 3 percent in energy savings which adds up over time.

We are more than happy to help you find the right HVAC system for your budget and home so you can focus on what matters this season. Give us a call today!