Even though the city enjoys a humid continental climate for a majority of the year, an efficient residential heating system is still necessary for Edmonton homeowners to combat the cold nights and winter weather. However, there are so many different heating systems on the market that you are made to ponder which one is the best system for your home.
Factors to Consider in Selecting a Heating System
There are several factors to consider before finally selecting the heating system right for your home. After all, purchasing the appropriate heating system (either for a new home or a replacement of the old) is not cheap. You must be sure of your choice before making the final purchase.
When budgeting for a new system, you must not only consider how much a new system will cost, but also take into account the costs of installation, maintenance, repair, and annual operations. Most homeowners tend to stick to the old system to minimize cost, but it might be a good idea to create a comparison chart of estimated costs between systems. You can therefore check whether you are actually saving money by persisting with the old system or if it is time to replace it with a new one.
To compute the long-term operational costs, you have to account for the system’s efficiency. The standard efficiency ratings for residential heating systems are usually characterized by their AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) or the HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) values. Both measurements take into account the normal operational losses and the deviations of outside temperature.
AFUE indicates the efficiency of systems that use either natural gas, propane, or any other fuel oil systems as a heat source, while HSPF is mostly used to measure the energy efficiency of electric heat pumps. The higher the energy efficiency rating, the more likely that it will cost less to operate, saving you some money in the long run.
Fuel availability is also a big factor in choosing a heating system for your home. In most regions, natural gas is the popular choice for fuel, although electric heat and fuel oil are still sometimes used, particularly in areas where winter temperatures are not so severe.
A reputable HVAC contractor can help you estimate operational costs based on energy source. They can also offer some advice on how your house’s size and current energy bills should be factored into your computation.
Gas furnaces, ConsumerReport.org