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What to Look for in a New Heating System

Choosing a new heating system to install can be kind of like going to the dentist: you know it has to happen (because the consequences for not doing it are worse) but that doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy it. A lot of homeowners have this attitude when it comes to shopping for a new heating system; they just want to find something that works and get it installed as quickly as possible.

While it can be tempting to cut corners in the decision-making stage, it’s a really bad idea to actually do it. If you’re not careful when selecting your new heating system, the one you try to install may not end up working at all. Know beforehand which factors to pay attention to, and how they fit into your heating needs.

Heating Type

First and foremost, you need to decide what type of heating system you’re going to use. If you want to use a combustion based system, you have a wide variety of different system types to choose from. Furnaces are the most common, mainly because they fit well into the preexisting ductwork that most homes use. Boilers are also a popular choice, though installing one often means doing a lot of extra work to get the subfloor pipe network in place.

You can also forego combustion-type heating entirely, and opt for a heat pump system instead. These are popular for their ability to act as both heating and cooling systems, though their efficiency tends to suffer during exceptionally cold weather. This is largely a personal choice, though it is affected by the layout and construction of your home. If you’re not sure which option would be best for your needs, consult with a professional.

Heating Ratings

All heaters use a ratings system to gauge their efficiency. AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is used for combustion systems like furnaces and boilers. The rating works on a percentage ratio, comparing the amount of fuel put into the system with the amount of heat coming out of it. If 100 BTU’s (British Thermal Units) of fuel are put into the system, and it returns 80 BTU’s of heat, the AFUE would be 80%. As the name suggests, AFUE measures the performance of the system throughout the year to more accurately estimate its efficiency.

HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, and is used in lieu of AFUE for heat pumps. Heat pumps don’t burn fuel of any kind to generate heat, and so they need a different rating system. HSPF is determined by measuring how much heat the heat pump can vent into the home, compared to the amount of electricity it uses. Also unlike AFUE, HSPF uses a rating of 1-10. 8 or higher is widely considered a desirable HSPF rating.

SPS Mechanical Inc. offers comprehensive heating installation services in West Deptford, NJ. If you need heating services, we can help you out. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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