Is it time to update your central heating?
Updating A Central Heating System
Updating a central heating system is always a costly process. However, there does come a time when the investment pays off. Improvements in plumbing and heating technology mean that updating your home heating can result in lower monthly bills in the future.
Over time, components become worn leading to not only increases in the risk of heating failure, but also in reduction of energy efficient. Most boilers are designed to last for between 20 and 50 years. However, if they have been poorly maintained in the past, they start to become unreliable and costly to run. According to the Energy Saving Trust the average heating system is responsible for over 50% of all home energy bills.
Here is our guide to knowing when to replace your heating system.
Old heat pumps
If your heat pump is more than 10 years old it will be far less efficient than modern pumps that utilize the latest computerized systems to manage heat distribution. Older heat pumps are even less efficient; pumps produced 30 years ago use up to double the energy. Replacing old units can have fuel bills in some cases.
A modern pump includes various new technologies to improve efficiency. They have thermostatic expansion valves for more precise heat distribution. Variable speed blowers ensure that heat is not all pumped to the closest room. Even the copper tubing has been redesigned with internal grooves to increase surface area. Even if a ten year old heating system is currently running without the need for annual repairs, it will still be far less efficient than modern models.
Replace old furnaces and boilers
If your furnace or boiler is over 15 years old it probably needs to be replaced. Modern furnaces are around 15% more efficient than conventional models and modern boilers can be up to five percent more efficient.
To reduce household bills it is important to install a furnace and boiler with good energy rating. An annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is required by law to be displayed on all new boilers, making it easy to source the most efficient heating system for your home. The higher the percentage, the more efficient the furnace. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 90% will convert 90% of the fuel into heat and only waste 10%. Some older furnaces have ratings of 55% to 65%.
Many people find that their heating systems need an annual repair or service, usually during fall when the heat is turned on again after being unused during the summer months.
If you find that you have to call out an emergency plumber to repair your heating systems on a regular basis, then it is certainly time to replace. Some people spend hundreds of dollars every year getting their old boilers and furnaces repaired. The combination of increased efficiency and reduce repair costs will soon pay for a new system.
You cannot control temperature in all rooms
Older heating systems tend to distribute heat poorly, which generally means that you compensate by having some rooms too hot so that others can remain at a comfortable temperature. This is of course a waste of heat. The alternative is that some rooms are always too cold for comfort. If you cannot balance the heat across your house with your old heating system, it is certainly time to upgrade to a modern product.
The house is empty for half the day
Many people waste huge amounts of energy by heating homes that are empty. If you do not have a programmable thermostat that can switch off your furnace when everybody is in school or at work, you will be wasting money. Updating your heating system can reduce your bills and make your home more eco-friendly too.
Noisy heating systems
Old furnaces and boilers tend to become noisier with age, much like old vehicles. While the noise is unlikely to result in reduced efficiency, it can impact on the quality of life in the home. Modern heating systems are almost silent in operation. Noisy systems can also indicate issues, which should be resolved before they cause irreversible problems.
In warm air systems old and poorly maintained equipment can result in leaks throughout the ducts that distribute air around the house. This can sometimes cause humidity problems, usually with air being too dry in winter and or too humid in summer. If there is increased moisture in the air in winter this can also lead to an increase in the cost of heating a home.