Home heating: here are some helpful tips and new techniques

We have some seasonal advice on heating system maintenance, but we’ve also looked at new heating technologies that are on the horizon for climate change issues.

Buffalo, NY — 2 On Your Side recently told you that natural gas costs have risen so dramatically that National Fuel predicts that the average homeowner will spend more than $1,000 to heat their home this winter.

We have some seasonal advice on heating system maintenance, but we’ve also looked at new heating technologies that are on the horizon for climate change issues.

Some of us might see it as a basement beast, but it’s really the heart and body heating device we should take care of in the shower this time of year. This is your friendly furnace and should get an annual inspection from your HVAC contractor to check for leaks and potential equipment problems.

“Licensed professionals know the equipment well,” said Ian Donnelly, program manager at T-Mark Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling. “When they were there, not just looking at the equipment, but did it leak any gas or carbon monoxide?

“What does the blower motor show? Any signs of failure? Is the induction motor starting to rub? Is it a bad bearing? Did you notice a little whine? These are obvious signs that the trained ear is having a problem. “

Also remember to replace the furnace filter, which can be purchased from any hardware or home improvement store. They are usually easy to replace in the furnace.

“If you don’t replace your filter and your filter is clogged, then that means the furnace isn’t breathing as much as it should,” Donnelly said. “If it doesn’t breathe properly, it takes longer to heat up. If it takes longer to heat up, it burns more gas and it costs more money.

“So one of the simple things you can do as a homeowner is to change the filter monthly during the winter months to make sure the system is working as it should for the home and home.”

Then consider a programmable thermostat to reduce heat and gas use when you’re not home.

Also, keep heat in the house with proper insulation and sealing, or stuff doors and windows for ventilation.

Then, if possible, you can also save on gas by adjusting the water heater to the mid-dial or range setting to produce 120 degrees of hot water instead of the usual 130 to 140 degrees.

Some customers may end up considering more expensive tankless water heaters that can heat water without limiting the capacity of any tank.

When it comes to your heating system, they obviously don’t come cheap, but upgrading to a more efficient furnace with external PVC ventilation may actually pay off through a utility rebate program.

“The difference between a chimney draft furnace and a high-efficiency furnace is 15 percent. Those are real dollars,” Donnelly said. “When you factor in the price increase, not only is your return very fast, especially with the increase we’ve seen here this year, but it also pays you dividends. It keeps you out of the emissions to the chimney. There’s something wrong with the chimney. .”

In 2019, New York State passed a climate change bill, one of the most progressive in the country. Albany officials will need to make more use of heat pumps, especially in new home construction over the next few years.

Electric heat pumps can cool and heat homes and are more popular in the warmer southern United States. But technology for colder climates is improving.

Some people may opt for a hybrid heat pump and furnace combination system that is expensive, several thousand dollars, but also efficient when switching from electricity to gas. This shutdown is usually set when the outside temperature reaches 40 degrees.

“Through the thermostat and temperature sensors and the high-quality equipment we’ve installed, it allows the home to use electricity for the first stage of heating and then switch to gas when it’s really needed,” Donnelly said.

There are more traditional single-system air source based heat pumps, which may require more technical modifications for the cold weather in Western New York.

Source link