A majority of homes in the United States — and on the Western Slope — are heated with furnaces or boilers. Furnaces distribute heated air through ductwork while boilers provide hot water for heating through radiators or radiant floor heating systems. If you want to replace or retrofit your heating system this fall, now is the time to begin the process.
The purpose of retrofits is to increase the efficiency and safety of furnaces and boilers without completely replacing them. Weigh the costs of replace or retrofit projects carefully, especially if a replacement is likely a few years down the road anyway.
Examples of retrofits that make your furnace or boiler more efficient include the decision to instal the followingl:
- A programmable thermostat
- New ductwork (for furnaces)
- Zoning controls
- Vent dampers
- New gas or oil burners
- Modulating aquastats (for boilers)
- A time-delay relay (for boilers)
Older furnaces and boilers generally have efficiency ratings between 56 and 70 percent while the most efficient systems available today are up to 97 percent efficient. If your unit is getting old, wearing out, oversized or inefficient, the simplest solution is to make a high-efficiency replacement.
It’s important to improve your home’s energy efficiency – by sealing the ductwork, for example — before you size a new system. This allows the optimally sized system to be smaller, saving you money both on the initial purchase price and operational costs.
Then, when shopping for a replacement, keep an eye out for the Energy Star label, a prestigious qualification that only the most efficient and well-performing furnaces and boilers can earn. With Western Colorado’s cold winter climate, it’s easy to justify the extra investment required to purchase a 90 to 95 percent efficient furnace or boiler over a less-expensive 80 percent efficient unit.
With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to either replace or retrofit your existing equipment. For more tips and advice on heating your home this fall and winter, please contact us at Climate Control Company. Our experience in Western Colorado dates back to 1956.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about whether to replace or retrofit your furnace and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
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