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Couple with FurnaceIf you are in a home long enough, sooner or later you will have to replace your furnace. You can string it along, fix things that break, be hyper-diligent in maintenance, and make emergency repairs, but eventually, you will reach diminishing returns. When that happens, you will need to get a replacement. If you are in this position and are looking for heating service and repair in Pittsburgh, PA, keep the following in mind as you make your selection.

Efficiency

Efficiency in a furnace is a measurement of how much energy it takes for the furnace to heat your home. It is measured in a ratio called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The minimum metric is 80 percent and it goes all the way up to the high 90s (no furnace system is 100 percent efficient). For your heating system installation, you want to get the highest percentage of AFUE as you can afford.

System Type

Heating systems primarily come in two different forms: split or packaged. A split system has a combo heat and air conditioning function and comes with a condenser, furnace, and coil that sit on top of your system unit. They are used mainly by people who have basements and can afford a fairly bulky, space-consuming system component.

For people with limited space or no basement, a packaged unit is generally the answer. Packaged systems provide the same cooling and heating capabilities but come in a compact, outdoor unit. Many people who want more space will opt to go with a packaged system. Your heating service contractor can help you decide which type is best suited to your home.

Fuel

ThermostatThere are three main fuel options for furnaces: gas, electric, and oil. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Gas furnaces are the most economical way to heat a house when temperatures are below freezing. If you have gas lines going into your home, a gas furnace is usually the best choice. An oil furnace provides a ton of heat, too, but requires those massive oil tanks you see in basements; they can also be very expensive if oil prices spike.

Electric furnaces are expensive because they convert electrical energy into heat; they are not recommended unless you live in an area that only requires occasional heating. One variation of the electric furnace is the heat pump. This type of heating system provides heat via air streams and can function as an air conditioner. These are generally less expensive than an electric furnace.

Your heating system repair company can help you decide which fuel type is right for you. 

Zones

Many homes have varying needs for heating depending on where you go in the home and during which time of day. For these, there are zoning options that allow each section to be controlled by a separate thermostat. This type of system usually requires significant modifications to your home by your heating system repair service to allow for accommodation of new system components.

Choosing a new furnace is a necessary component of home ownership if you own your home long enough. Check out Stahl Plumbing to get started today.