If your home has a furnace or a heat pump that is over 10 years old, it is wise to consider replacing it sooner rather than later. Upgrading your home’s heating system can be a fairly substantial investment, but is a necessary cost in order to maintain a safe and comfortable home. A new heating system is also one of the property investments you can make, as it can increase the value of your home and pay off in many other ways. With that in mind, here are some of the biggest reasons that you should consider upgrading your heating system this fall.
1. Keep Your Heating Costs Lower
The energy efficiency of any system, like a furnace or heat pump, will almost always decrease over time. Scheduling regular heating tune-ups and maintenance services will help in this regard, but most units will still eventually develop various issues that limit their effectiveness and reduce their energy efficiency. Upgrading your heating system can be one of the easiest ways to make your home more energy-efficient and lower your annual heating costs.
If you currently have a conventional furnace, upgrading to a condensing furnace could be a wise choice. All conventional furnaces are considered medium-efficiency units, and the energy efficiency rating of these units can range from an 80 to 89 Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. Condensing furnaces are high-efficiency units that range from 90 to 98.5 AFUE.
AFUE ratings show the percentage of energy a furnace effectively uses. With an 80 AFUE furnace, 20% of the energy is wasted, and 80% converts into heat. If you had a 98.5 AFUE furnace, only 1.5% of the energy it consumes is lost.
All furnaces waste some energy, and this is because furnaces can only capture so much of the heat that they produce by burning gas. When gas burns, it always converts to heat energy at a one-to-one ratio. However, some of this heat energy always remains in the hot combustion fumes that vent outside the home.
When the furnace runs, the unit’s heat exchanger constantly absorbs heat energy from the combustion fumes as they flow through it. Conventional furnaces have a single heat exchanger, which leads to quite a bit of heat remaining in the fumes when they flow out of the heat exchanger and into the exhaust flue.
Condensing furnaces have two heat exchangers, which allows them to capture much more of the heat energy from the combustion fumes. The primary heat exchanger still captures most of the heat, but the secondary exchanger works to capture most of the remaining heat before the fumes exit the unit.
2. Ensure Your Home Is Always Warm and Comfortable
Upgrading your heating system can drastically improve your home’s comfort. Older furnaces and heat pumps often struggle to work as effectively in extremely cold weather and may not always be capable of keeping the home as warm as you’d like. A new furnace or heat pump will work much more effectively so that your home will always stay warm and toasty no matter how cold it gets outside.
3. Reduce the Risk of Your Heating System Breaking Down
Having your heating system break down in the middle of winter is an absolute nightmare. Some heating issues are fixed relatively easily, so you may only have to go without heat for a few hours or a day at the most, but there are issues that could leave you without heat for longer.
Many older furnaces and heat pumps are discontinued models, which means that replacement parts aren’t always readily available. In this case, it could take at least several days to get the parts needed to fix your unit. Another thing to consider is that winter is one of the busiest times for HVAC companies, so you may not be able to get a technician out to look at your furnace immediately.
If your unit isn’t repairable or not worth what it would cost to fix, you’ll usually have to go without heat for at least a day or two before you can get the unit replaced in winter and a new furnace or heat pump installed. You’ll also typically have fewer options and may find pricing to be higher should you need to replace the unit in the middle of winter than if you replaced it at any other time of the year. This is yet another reason why it’s important to be proactive and not wait until your unit completely gives out before you have it replaced.
4. Save Money on Heating Repairs
The older your furnace or heat pump is, the greater chance there is of it breaking down and needing repairs. Constantly having to pay to repair an aging unit can quickly add up and cost you lots of money over time. The older your unit is, the more likely it is to need major repairs.
This is another reason why upgrading to a new appliance can provide substantial benefits by significantly reducing the chances of you having to pay for expensive repairs. Your new unit will also come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers the cost of any necessary repair parts if the unit breaks down due to a defect, so you don’t have to pay everything out of pocket.
5. Lower Your Carbon Footprint
Upgrading your heating system is also an easy way to lower your carbon footprint and help protect the environment. Switching from a gas furnace to a heat pump will be especially effective. This is both because heat pumps are much more energy efficient and because they don’t produce carbon emissions like furnaces do.
Even if you still prefer a furnace, replacing your old unit can still help make your heating system more environmentally friendly. Modern furnaces work much more effectively, which means your heating system won’t ever need to run as long and will thus release fewer carbon emissions.
Installing a two-stage furnace or a variable-speed furnace will help to lower your carbon footprint even more. Standard single-stage furnaces always operate at full power, whereas two-stage and variable-speed units have additional power settings, so they don’t always need to go full blast. When operating at a lower power setting, these units burn less gas and produce fewer emissions than they do when running at full power.
A two-stage or variable-speed furnace will also save you money on your heating costs compared to a single-stage unit. These units also typically need fewer repairs and last longer since they experience less wear and tear whenever they’re not running at full power.
South Jersey’s Heating Installation Experts
With more than 75 years of experience serving customers throughout South Jersey, Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing is your best choice for heating replacement and installation. As a Carrier Authorized Dealer, we carry a wide range of highly efficient furnaces and heat pumps that are sure to suit your home.
Our experienced technicians are available for heating repairs or maintenance services, as well as a full range of air conditioning and plumbing services. A Laury Heating Membership offers year-round peace of mind with benefits like annual HVAC service, plumbing inspections, $0 dispatch and emergency fees, annual credit toward system replacements, and more! For more information on the benefits of upgrading your home’s heating system and regular maintenance, give Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing a call today.