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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Best HVAC Upgrade Options When Energy Prices Are Rising and Your Heating System Is Powered By Electricity

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 @ 02:06 PM

If you're using a heat pump or electric resistance heat to keep your Northeast Ohio home warm, now's the time to consider your HVAC upgrade options. Back when First Energy offered low rates for households with all-electric heating, using a heat pump made sense. With those rates gone (or slowly being eliminated) now, a different heating method may be better for your budget.

  • cleveland hvac upgradesFuel-burning furnace - One of the most popular heating methods in the U.S., furnaces burn gas, propane or oil to heat air. The warm air is distributed throughout your home via your duct system. Although a furnace can be a stand-alone heating system, in many homes it's part of a split system that includes an air conditioner. The A/C unit sits outdoors, but uses the furnace blower and duct system to distribute cool air. For most Ohio homes, natural gas is the most affordable fuel option. Modern gas furnaces are also highly efficient. A high-efficiency gas furnace turns up to 95 to 97 percent of the fuel it uses into heat. Note: Often people making the switch can take advantage of federal energy tax credits, utility incentives along with manufacturer incentives to help facilitate the change out. 
  • Geothermal heating - Although a geothermal heat pump uses electricity, it requires less than a standard air-source heat pump. Instead of drawing heat from the air, it draws heat from the ground, which allows for greater efficiency. On a cold night, a geothermal unit can achieve efficiencies of 300 to 600 percent compared to straight electric resistance heating, whereas the average air-source unit is only 175 to 250 percent efficient on cold days. This makes geothermal heating among the most efficient HVAC upgrade options available.
  • Fuel-burning boiler - Boilers burn gas, propane or oil to heat water in a large tank. The system may heat with either hot water or steam. Steam is distributed through pipes to steam radiators. Hot water systems can use radiators or radiant floor systems. Even high-efficiency boilers are somewhat less energy efficient than furnaces, but the radiant heat they provide is more consistent than forced air heating. 

If you're interested in any of these HVAC upgrade options, contact us at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. Since 1936, we've been helping homeowners stay comfortable in Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Beachwood, Independence, Pepper Pike and the surrounding areas.

Federal Tax Credits

Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: heating, boiler, hvac equipment, heat pumps

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