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  • Gas or Electric Heat: A Cost Comparison

    One of the first decisions a homeowner or business owner has to make, regarding an HVAC (heat, ventilation, air conditioning) system, is whether to purchase an electric or gas heater. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. The up-front costs and long-term costs are one area that people typically examine.

    Up-Front Costs

    These are the costs associated with the initial installation of the heating component of the HVAC system. The first item to look at is whether the home or business has access to electricity and natural gas. Many homes and businesses have both electricity and natural gas lines already running to the house. However, some locations do not have access to natural gas. In this case, running a gas line to the location could be an additional upfront cost. Each home or business is unique and different costs may be taken into consideration for each one.

    The cost of the heater itself is also included in the up-front costs. If you are buying this as a single component, it's often called a furnace. At National Air Warehouse, the electric furnaces start around $700 and the gas furnaces start around $900.

    Looking at just the up-front costs, the electric furnace seems to be cheaper. However, most HVAC systems are meant to be used for years. The long-term costs look at how expensive it is to run each type of furnace for years to come.

    Long-Term Costs

    The costs associated with the furnace in the long term are: maintenance and the cost of the electricity/natural gas. When it comes to maintenance, the electric heaters are typically cheaper to maintain. One of the reasons is that electric furnaces typically outlast gas furnaces. An electric furnace can last for 20-30 years with regular maintenance. Gas furnaces, in comparison, typically have slightly shorter lifespans of 10-20 years.

    People commonly say that the cost of natural gas is lower than that of electricity. This is true in many locations, but it does depend on the location of the home or business. Electricity is cheaper in some cities than others. To truly determine the long-term impact of paying for electricity or gas, a homeowner or business owner can calculate the energy use. The amount of electricity used is typically tabulated as kilowatt-hours (kWh) and the amount of natural gas is often tabulated as therms. A homeowner could directly compare the costs by converting kWh to therms (1 kWh = 0.034 therms). Less money spent per therm will save the homeowner or business owner in the long-term.

    Making a smart decision regarding electric or gas furnaces may require a bit of thought, but there are many resources out there to help home and business owners decide between the two.

  • Top Reasons to Pay Attention to your Heating System During the Summer?

    Heating System Heating System

    In every season, you should expect to have HVAC maintenance carried out in order to have your cooling and heating system working efficiently. Bear in mind, though, it does not mean that you have to focus your attention on your air conditioner unit in the summer months and the heating system in the winter. It is important to take the appropriate care of your HVAC system throughout the whole year so that it will always operate to its full capacity.

    Summer Preparation

    Yes, you may be hanging out on the beach during the summer and a heater is the farthest thing from your mind. Yet, you cannot wait until the winter is upon you before taking care of your furnace or other heating system. The season may arrive and that is when you discover problems with your heating system. It is better to approach a season, being confident that everything inside your home is working properly. Below are some of the top reasons why you cannot afford to neglect your heater during the summer.

    Don’t Regret Your Decision

    If you need to have a heater repair done as the winter comes to a close or if the heater is providing warning signals of malfunction, you may need a new heater. For this reason, you should not ignore the signs. If you don’t take immediate action, you may regret your decision. You should not wait to schedule a repair at the last minute. If so, you may be put on a waiting list and who wants to go through winter without a functional heating system? The HVAC technician needs time to inspect the situation and conduct the necessary repairs so that you can be comfortable during the winter months.

    Advanced Maintenance

    One of the things to prevent being an uncomfortable situation is putting your HVAC maintenance on a schedule with a HVAC contractor. Therefore, try to have a healthy heating system at all times by frequent maintenance. There are various tasks that are involved with furnace maintenance and some of these include cleaning dirt and dust, inspecting the air flow, lubrication of moving parts, and thermostat testing. Doing this in the summer makes you prepared for the winter.

    Heat Pump

    Heat pumps are generally used both in the winter and in the summertime. If you do not have your heat pump repaired, then the choice will also affect your air conditioner unit. You will be switching your system to cooling during the summer, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore any heating issues until the winter.

    Proper Ventilation

    Both heating system and cooling system utilize the same ventilation to function, especially when your system uses forced air. For this reason, you have to keep the air ducts clean, not only to improve air quality, but also to prevent this from negatively impacting your HVAC system’s efficiency. When you have problems with your heating system, it can also result in an increase in your summer’s energy bill.

    Conclusion

    Be sure that you change your air filters on a frequent basis, even during the summer. Contact a HVAC contractor or HVAC technician today to schedule an overall check on your heating system and cooling system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/46669634@N06/13118275535/

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