In Massachusetts, choosing the right heating system is no laughing matter. After all, Massachusetts is famous for its rough winters, which include months of freezing temperatures, high winds, and heavy snowfalls. Combine that brutal climate with the rapidly rising costs associated with heating your home, and it's easy to see why homeowners across Massachusetts are on the hunt for a heating system that is going to be beneficial for their home and their pocketbooks.
Choosing the Right Heating System
Finding the right heating system is easier said than done, however. There are a number of heating systems out there to choose from, and they utilize just as many different available fuel sources. Furthermore, there is a wide range of energy efficiencies to be found in modern heating systems. Here's a quick summary of some of the most popular options, to help give you a head start in choosing the best option for your home.
Furnaces heat your home by blowing heated air through a system of air ducts, and are probably the most popular heating system chosen by Massachusetts homeowners. Newer, forced air models have AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings as high as 97 percent, which means that 97 percent of the fuel supplied to the unit is utilized to heat your home. Compared to older units with AFUE ratings between 65 and 80 percent, a high-efficiency furnace can cut the cost of providing heat to your home by as much as 1/3 annually.
Boilers are another popular heating system in Massachusetts, which heat your home by circulating heated water or steam throughout the house. The same AFUE ratings used for furnaces apply to boiler efficiency, meaning that investing in a higher efficiency boiler upfront will end up saving you money in the form of reduced utility costs over the long term.
Radiant floor heating
Radiant floor heating heats a home from the ground up by way of running a heated medium through a solid sub-floor. The heat transfers to the floor, and is then radiated up into the room. Hydronic systems that utilize water or other liquids are the most common in residential settings, and usually consist of a boiler that heats the water and then pumps it through a series of pipes embedded in a concrete slab. Radiant floor heat is more efficient, more comfortable, and healthier than other forms of heat, and it can be powered by a number of primary heating systems, including boilers, hot water heaters and pumps, solar heat systems, or a combination of heating systems. Because the heat source needs to be imbedded in the sub-floor, however, a radiant floor heating system in Massachusetts is better suited to new builds or additions rather than pre-existing homes.
Wood and Pellet Heaters
Burning wood or other biomass for heat has largely been replaced by fossil fuel-fired furnaces and boilers throughout New England, but it is still an option for homeowners across Massachusetts . If you do choose wood or pellet burning heaters, make sure you get an energy-efficient model that converts as much of the fuel into heat as possible. Not only is it a more cost-effective way to go (you'll burn far less fuel), but these heaters drastically reduce the amount of pollution released into the air— a major concern in a high-density area like Greater Boston.
Choosing a Heating System: Natural Gas, Heating Oil, or Alternative Fuels
Besides choosing the right heating system, you'll also need to make a decision on which fuel is the best fit for your home. Natural gas is now as readily available as heating oil in most areas in the Northeast, but it's no longer the cheaper alternative it used to be. According to U.S. Department of Energy, while costs of heating oil and natural gas fluctuate year to year, over the long haul, they end up costing homeowners about the same. That being said, your best bet is probably to purchase a heating system that uses the same fuel you're presently using. That way you won't have to run new supply lines to your unit, or foot the potentially significant bills that come with retrofitting the rest of your home for a new heating system.
Chuck Laverty & Son Mechanical Contractors
Hiring Chuck Laverty & Son Mechanical to install your new heating system in Massachusetts is just as important as buying a quality system in the first place. Choosing a properly sized appliance, installing or upgrading delivery systems (i.e. ductwork), and installing and fine tuning the heating system properly play just as large of a role in achieving high energy efficiency as high AFUE ratings. That being the case, seeking out the knowledge of someone who is an expert in the field is invaluable when it comes to maximizing the energy efficiency of your new heating system is our specialty.
Chuck Laverty & Son Mechanical Inc. Millbury, MA Phone: 508-581-8908 Toll Free: 877-54-Chuck Fax: 508-581-8757