What to Look for in a New Heater

With fall arriving here in Portland, OR, now is the perfect time to trade your old heater in for a brand new one. Temperatures are still mild enough to let the technician install the system without inconveniencing you, and you can schedule the session at your leisure, without having to rush to get it in before a cold front hits. More importantly, installing a new heater now will let you enjoy the benefits of improved efficiency and lower monthly bills from the start of the season. But just because you’ve decided to buy a new system doesn’t mean the work is done. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a new heater.

Size Is Key

Heater generate a certain amount of power, and you want to make sure that power level matches the size of your home. If it’s too small it won’t get the job done, and if it’s too larger, it will turn on and off numerous times throughout the day, which can wear down the fan motor and other key components. A trained technician can examine your house and find a heating system that is neither too large nor too small but just right.

Check the Efficiency

Heaters measure their energy efficiency with a rating called AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), which measures the percentage of fuel consumed that actually goes into the heating of your home. (The rest is lost to leaks, inefficient components and the like). The higher the rating, the more bang the heater will give you for your buck. For a handy shortcut, look for furnaces with the EnergyStar rating, denoting furnaces with an AUFE rating of 95% or higher. (Note that efficiency isn’t related to power levels, so you can have a smaller heater with a higher AFUE rating than a large one.)

For expert help on picking a new heater, call on Clean Air Act today.

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