Moving into the colder months of winter, it's common for many people to turn on their furnaces, only to find out that they're not working or not working nearly as efficiently as they used to. When that happens, you might wonder whether you need to replace it altogether, and if so, the type of heating system that would be best for your house. Online articles and tutorials can sometimes be filled with industry lingo and technical jargon, making it hard to evaluate this decision fairly, so here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you make your decision.
What Is Your Budget?
Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can either have a simple, easy-to-operate system or one that lasts for decades. A geothermal heat pump, for instance, can last upwards of 20 year, and provide a significantly higher level of energy savings than a central heating system. That being said, geothermal heat pumps can also cost well in excess of $10,000, while a central furnace system will run you only a few thousand. Even less expensive are the portable heating systems, but you'll have to sacrifice comfort and lifespan for the sake of your budget. Getting this number in your mind firmly before beginning this process is the key to making the right decision.
How Big Is Your Space?
If you're trying to heat an entire house, a portable or a ductless mini-split may not be the right option. If you're simply looking to heat up an expansion on your house, such as a garage that has been converted into an office, or something external like a detached shed, they might be exactly what you need. Ductless mini-splits can be integrated inside your existing system, which eliminates the need for costly ductwork. If you are looking at heating a family home, consider either a heat pump or a furnace instead.
How Important Is Energy Savings?
Usually, people associate energy efficiency with lower utility bills, but others are more concerned about heating systems that are energy-efficient for their impact on the environment. If this is you, you should consider a system that is Energy Star approved, which is a government program that provides incentives to manufacturers to create more energy-efficient devices. Heat pumps are also more energy-efficient than central furnaces and provide a number of other benefits that are worth investigating. Regardless, you should consider energy efficiency as well as any other specific requirements you have when you're making your decision.
Contact an HVAC contractor to learn more about the different types of heating systems.