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What Should You Look for in Your Heating System?


Every homeowner arrives at the moment when they have to consider replacing their heating system. Ideally, this won't be on the coldest day of the year when your furnace suddenly gives up the ghost. How do you know when to start looking at heating system options, and what should you be looking for?


Following are some common signals that your heating system has reached the end of its service life:

  • If you know your system's age, that's the easiest way to determine it's time for a replacement. Combustion furnaces may last 15-20 years, while heat pumps are more like 10-15. If your equipment has been well maintained and/or your area's climate doesn't require heavy use for long periods, your system likely will last in the upper range of those projected life spans.
  • If you have older equipment that's been experiencing frequent breakdowns (two or more in a three-year span), this likely means you should consider new heating system options. Similarly, if your older equipment has been losing efficiency, costing more to operate, this is another red flag.


Once you'd decided it's time to shop for a replacement, you'll want to decide:

  • The type of system.Discuss with your trusted HVAC professional the best heating system for your home and budget. They may recommend staying with whatever system your home already has, since you wouldn't need new infrastructure (e.g., venting, gas lines, etc. for a gas furnace, or refrigerant lines / outside unit for a heat pump).
  • Energy-efficiency level.Homeowners have a wide range of efficiency levels to choose from. Generally speaking, the higher the efficiency, the higher the price but the lower the operating costs. HVAC technicians sometimes will advise against paying for the high-efficiency systems in areas with mild winter climates such as the South Bay Peninsula.
  • Advanced features.You'll need to decide whether to buy add-on components to boost energy efficiency or include humidity control or air purification.

To discuss your Silicon Valley area home's heating system options with an experienced HVAC professional, please contact us at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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