Searching for Local Heating Systems in AthensPublished on: December 28, 2012
Whether shopping for new heating systems for your commercial business or for your Athens home, you want a product that will deliver maximum comfort for minimum cost. Searching for a quality local HVAC company to provide the new installation is a great place to start. Local heating contractors will be the most familiar with the region’s seasonal climate and will have the most experience installing heating systems in your area. The following tips can help ensure that your local HVAC contractor is qualified and can also help you determine which type of heating system is best for your home or business.
The Importance of Proper Installation
HVAC experts and consumer advocates agree that proper heating system installation is at least as important as choosing the right product. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a poor heating system installation can impair energy efficiency by up to 30 percent. A survey of HVAC contractors conducted by the nation’s leading consumer publication found that only about a third of service calls for heating systems were related to defective equipment. The majority of service calls were for heating systems that were improperly installed or maintained.
HVAC Technician Qualifications
Years of experience serving the Athens community speaks volumes to an HVAC technician’s qualifications. Success in the HVAC industry depends upon establishing lasting customer relationships. A company with a proven record of service is better qualified to address your heating needs. Certification from a national HVAC trade organization is another indicator of a quality HVAC contractor. Memberships in leading trade organizations keep contractors up to date on the industry’s latest products, methods and technologies.
Heating System Options
Furnaces and boilers are the most popular choice when it comes to keeping a home or business warm and comfortable, but there are other options worth considering too. High energy efficiency is the key to choosing a cost-effective product. Products that feature the Energy Star label have proven efficiency levels. Here’s a quick breakdown on the latest energy-saving innovations for a variety of heating systems in Athens.
- Furnaces. Although electric-powered furnaces are available, most furnaces heat air by burning gas or oil and distribute the heated air through ductwork. Modern furnaces are far more energy efficient and eco-friendly than those made a decade ago. If every home and business owner in the United States replaced their old gas furnaces with Energy Star models, the reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to emissions produced from around 177,000 cars. In the South, Energy Star products feature a “US South” logo that ensures that the system will be up to 12 percent more energy efficient than standard products.
- Boilers. Boilers heat water and generate heat for a home or business with either hot water or steam. Hot water is used in radiant floor systems and baseboard radiators or used to heat air for forced-air delivery. Steam is used for traditional steam radiators. Modern boilers achieve better energy efficiency though features like innovative combustion technology that extracts more heat from the same amount of oil or gas. Electric ignitions that eliminate the need for constantly burning pilot lights and combustion processes that use outdoor air to provide fuel for the burner also improve energy efficiency.
- Heat Pumps. Heat pumps move heat rather than generate it. The two most common types of heat pumps are air-source pumps and geothermal heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps suck the heat from the air outside and move it inside. An Energy Star qualified air-source pump can be 20 percent more energy efficient than a conventional heating system. Geothermal pumps draw heat from beneath the surface of the earth. These smart devices are available in a variety of models, from ductless versions to pumps that are designed to generate hot and cold water rather than air. While more expensive to install, geothermal heat pumps are among the most energy efficient heating solutions around, reducing annual operating costs from 45 to 70 percent.
- Radiant Heating. Rather than transferring heat to your home or business through air or steam, radiant heating supplies heat directly through heated wires or pipes installed in the floor, walls or ceiling. A broad range of energy sources can be used to generate the heat, including boilers, standard electricity and solar water heaters. The most popular form of radiant heating is hydronic radiant flooring, which pumps heated water from a boiler through loops of tubing installed beneath a floor. Because radiant heating eliminates the need for ductwork, they not only improve energy efficiency but improve indoor air quality as well.
Whatever heating system you choose for your home or business, you can save money by arranging to have the equipment regularly serviced. Seasonal check-ups will keep the system operating at peak energy efficiency, reducing your monthly fuel and energy costs. Regular inspections are also your best insurance against costly repairs. Preventative maintenance helps extends the service life of the system as well, sometimes doubling the system’s longevity. When you choose an energy-efficient system, have it installed by a qualified contractor and enroll in a maintenance plan. You’ll enjoy the optimal level of comfort in your home or business for the least expense.