Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Heating & Cooling, Atlanta Heating Systems 101, Energy Savings and Your Atlanta Heating Services

Heating & Cooling While winter in Atlanta isn't anything like those experienced in northern cities like Boston or Minneapolis, residents of the ATL don't have to be reminded that an efficient and effective heating system comes in handy during the winter months. In fact, record lows in Atlanta are proof that temperatures can fall as low as 10 degrees below zero, and average lows for December through February hover just above freezing. That being said, what is the best heating system for an Atlanta home? Read on to discover your options. Atlanta Heating Systems 101 Atlantans actually have more choices when it comes to home heating than most residents realize. Obviously, natural gas powered furnaces are the most popular choice, thanks to a winning combination of cost, availability, and a readily available fuel source. But it's not the only heating system that will work for Atlanta homeowners. Boiler systems, active solar heating, radiant floor heating, and high-efficiency wood and pellet burning stoves are all suitable alternatives. Here's the breakdown of what you have to choose from, along with any glaring benefits or drawbacks. Furnaces--If your home already has a forced air furnace, replacing your old model with a newer, energy-efficient one is probably going to be your most cost-friendly option. And if you're building a new home, forced air is also going to be your heating system of choice. Boilers--Boilers heat homes by circulating heated water or steam throughout the home, distributing the heat through individual radiators or baseboard heaters. Similar to furnaces, replacing an older boiler with a more energy-efficient model is your best option if you already have a boiler system in place. Active Solar Heating--Active solar heating is a newer, greener alternative. While there are many types available, the most common type captures heat from the sun in a liquid reservoir, then circulates that liquid to a heat exchanger and blower system that distributes the heat through your house. These systems do require a higher initial investment to install, as well as a backup traditional heating such as a forced air furnace, since they typically provide only 40 to 60 percent of the heat needed to warm a home comfortably. Once the system is installed however, that 40 to 60 percent is free of charge. Radiant Floor Heating--Radiant floor heating pumps liquid heated by a boiler or water heater through a series of pipes installed within a solid floor (concrete slabs are most common). The heat transfers into the flooring material, then radiates up into the room. Radiant floor heating is more efficient, healthier, and provides a more consistent heat than other options. It's best suited for new builds, however, since the heating system and pipes must be installed when the slab is poured. Wood and Pellet Burning Stoves--Believe it or not, many homeowners are still using wood, pellets, or other bio-mass alternatives, to heat their home. If you do go this route, choose energy-efficient models that maximize the fuel that is burnt. You'll save money on fuel costs, and reduce the level of unused fuel that is exhausted out of the chimney in the form of polluting smoke. Energy Savings and Your Atlanta Heating Services The fact of the matter is that energy saving benefits of high-efficiency heating services aren't as pronounced in warmer climes as they are in colder ones, but that doesn't mean that purchasing your new heating system in Atlanta with energy efficiency in mind is a bad idea. Higher energy efficiency will still help save you money on your monthly utility bills, though homeowners in the ATL should keep in mind that top-of-the-line energy efficient systems probably aren't justified when you look at things from an investment/return standpoint. In that regard, Atlanta homeowners are better off choosing an energy-efficient model that is a little more middle of the road. These models don't cost quite as much as premium heating systems in Atlanta, but they are still a huge improvement over older models when it comes to energy efficiency, and have a greater chance of paying for themselves over time. Finally, proper installation, sizing, and fine-tuning are just as important when it comes to an efficient, operating heating system as the heating unit itself. Talk to a contractor who specializes in installing the heating system of your choice to ensure that your heating system in Atlanta will operate as smoothly as possible heating your Atlanta area home. Heating and Air Marietta GA

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