By John Ward
For December 2008, the average temperature in Denver was 26.7 and temps even dropped to 19 below zero at their lowest. These frigid conditions mean a lot of work for your heating unit and nowâ€”before the cold sets inâ€”is a good time to see how yours is functioning. Professionals can perform a variety of tests to help you figure this out.
Is it time to replace that old, worn out, energy-inefficient heating system with a new one? Here are some words of advice to help you make an informed decision on what’s best for your home and your budgetâ€” and keep you warm, comfortable and free of the home improvement drama so often seen on HGTV fixer-upper shows.
For starters, you need to decide between gas and electric heating. Gas furnace technology has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Heating efficiencies have jumped from about 65% to as high as 95%. With gas furnaces, also called “forced air” heating systems, air is heated and then supplied through ducts to outlet grills or registers.
If your home is equipped with radiators, as many of Denver’s older homes are, you’ll need a gas boiler, which heats water and radiators instead of air. An added benefit to having a gas boiler is that it allows you to eliminate one home comfort appliance with a combined gas boiler and water heater systemâ€”a great way to stay within your home improvement budget.
If you do not have natural gas or propane supplied to your home, an electric heat pump may be what you need. Electric heat pumps produce 2-3 times more heat per kilowatt-hour than an electric furnace.
There are two main types of heat pumps: air-to-air and ground source (also known as “geothermal”). Air-to-air heat pumps work fine in warmer climates, but once the outside temperature falls below 35.5 they rapidly lose efficiency, making them a poor choice for Denver’s chilly winters. In colder climates, geo-thermal systems work better since heat is extracted from deep within the ground where the temperature remains constant year-round.
Applewood can provide you with information about the best heating choice for your home and provides installation services to get the job done right. When cold temperatures arrive this winter, you’ll be ready.
John Ward has owned and operated Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric for more than 35 years. He is a master plumber and recognized industry leader for his knowledge and ethical business practices.Â Visit www.Applewoodfixit.com to learn more.