Run your hands across this supple, shiny sheet metal.  Notice the attention to detail on the riveted joints and the alluring, aluminum color.  This baby comes packed with 100,000 Btu of pure, raw heat!  Can’t you just see her sitting in your basement nestled next to your water heater?  Woohoo!  P-A-A-R-T-Y!!

Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?  Let’s face it: Buying a new furnace is just not exciting or fun (except to Matthew, of course).  But with a little help, it doesn’t have to be intimidating either.  So if your heat box has gone south for the winter with no forwarding address, this is “Heating 101”.

When choosing a heating system, the first thing you must decide is the type of furnace or system you want.   As you go down this list, efficiency, utility savings and cost increase.

Heating Types

1)  Standard – what would normally be installed in a new home

2)  Multi Stage

3)  Multi Stage & Variable Speed

4)  Modulating

5)  Duel Fuel – Gas furnace with electric heat pump

Choosing a type should be based upon the importance of comfort level, utility savings, budget and the time you estimate you will stay in your home.

A standard furnace means simply that – no bells and whistles.  It’ll get the job done.   However, it has a one speed blower, meaning you feel the heat blast when the furnace kicks on.

A multi stage furnace refers to controlling the speed of the gas input – up to 30% gas reduction which gives more even temperature control and increased comfort.

Variable speed utilizes new technology which allows the fan motor to speed up or slow down depending upon the home’s heating or cooling requirements.  This new technology even reads how dirty the filter is or measures effects of duct work design in order to adjust itself and maintain proper airflow.  The result is the smoothest level of comfort and great energy savings.

Modulating means the system will adjust to match your home’s heating requirements.

And as we’ve written before, a duel fuel system is always the most efficient way to go and is a wise choice for those who will be in their homes as least 5 years.

Next you must decide upon the efficiency.  All of the above are available in either 80 or 95% efficiencies.  Again, 80% efficient is the least costly up front but will result in higher utility usage over its life.  We can help you compute the payback period between these two efficiencies with just a few in-home calculations.

Definition:  95% efficient means 95% of the fuel you pay for is turned into heat.

And last but not least, let’s take a few minutes to talk Trane.  We’re often asked why we don’t offer other brands besides Trane.  The reason is simple.  In his 20+ years we can count on one hand the number of times we’ve replaced an in warranty residential Trane compressor.  With Holtkamp Heating & Air, you can be assured you’re getting the highest quality equipment and installation.

The $1500 Federal Tax Credit expires on Dec. 31, 2010.  So if you’re in need of a new furnace, this may be your best time to replace it.  With a proper heat-load calculation, we can determine the correct size and increase both your comfort and your savings.

So although it may not be the most exciting purchase, if you make the right up-front decision, your furnace will take care of you for years to come.  And we’ll be the first ones to RSVP to your furnace party to show off that new baby in the basement!

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