Buying a heating system for one’s home is usually a one-time purchase and is a very expensive component of ones comfortable lifestyle. There are, therefore many issues to take into consideration before making such a big purchase. Listed below are the top 5 things to remember when buying heating systems.
As information is the most important aspect in making a wise decision, you will need to take into account the size of your home, its age, the direction of the windows, its layout and its location. Other factors to consider at this stage are your budget and, in this respect, if you will be replacing or adding to an existing system, or if you are purchasing a brand new system; and your lifestyle.
One needs to weigh up the cost of installation in relation to the cost of the energy over the heating system’s lifetime. Consider if it would be better to spend a little more at time of purchase so as to save more over a long period. One should also be aware that a quality heating system will add a lot to the resale value of your home.
Once one has decided on the type of heating required, it is a good idea to consult a good contractor who will take the time to consult with you and who will also be able to do a computerized equipment sizing calculation to ensure that you purchase the correct size and capacity unit for your needs. He should also check the insulation levels and inspect the duct system air flow for leakages, as blockages could lead to toxic gases being emitted. Ensure that the contractor you choose will install the system correctly. He should be a registered association member, be recommended by the seller of the heating unit and also be able to give you recommendations from satisfied customers
The price of new heating equipment is generally about one third the total cost of buying a brand new heating system. The difference covers the costs of skilled labour to install the system, warranties and the contractor’s profit. It is a good idea to select a contractor who offers regular maintenance of the heating system.
With regard to warranties, the manufacturer and installing contractor should offer warranties on the main components such as the compressor, evaporator and condenser coils, and the heat exchanger or furnace; as well as a guarantee on the actual quality of the labour used to install the heating system. Should an extended warranty be offered by the manufacturer of the heating system on major parts or the entire system, it would be a good idea to seriously consider taking up this offer, as it indicates confidence in the quality of the system.
Finally, the terms SEER, HSPF and AFUE relate to the efficiency of the heating system. The higher the efficiency number, the better it will work and the lower your electricity and gas bills are liable to be.