Real Estate

How to Pick the Right Heating System for Your Home

For many people, space heating is the biggest component of their home energy bills. If you select the wrong heating system for your climate or home’s design, you may pay more to heat the house than necessary or be unable to get it to a comfortable, stable temperature in the winter. Here are a few tips on how to pick the right heating system for your home.

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How Cold It Gets

For mild climates like the Pacific Northwest, you may not need more than a space heater to warm up your bedroom on the few winter nights where it is cold enough to need any heat. In areas with hot summers but mild winters, a heat pump capable of heating your home in the winter and cooling it off in the summer may be sufficient. If there are occasional freezing nights, a heat pump with an auxiliary electric heater will be good enough. If your area sees several feet of snow in the winter, then you’ll need a dedicated, high-capacity heating system.

The Size of Your Home

Proper sizing is critical to the resident’s comfort. If the heating system is too small, you won’t be able to stay warm though it runs continuously. If the heating system is over-sized, you’ll stay warm, but you’ll have paid more than you had to for the system. In fact, an oversized system may be less efficient than a properly sized one, since the heating system hits peak efficiency after it runs for a while, and an oversized one tends to meet demand rather quickly. HVAC engineers can run a “heating load calculation” that takes the size of your home, insulation levels and climate into effect to determine what size heating system is right for your home.

The Efficiency of the Heating System

New home heating systems have efficiencies somewhere between 78% and 96% AFUE. The basic models of many heating systems have 75-80% AFUE, a step up from the 60%-70% efficiency of older furnaces. Old boilers have AFUE ratings of 55% to 65%, while newer ones have efficiencies over 80%.

As the efficiency of the design increases, so does the cost. This is typically due to the second heat exchangers they have to reclaim some of the heat, more precise control of combustion, and better regulation of air flow.

The efficiency of the new systems will depend in part on the design and in part on who installs it. Only work with HVAC engineers who are familiar with condensing boilers to install a new, high efficiency system. Little deviations in how exhausts are placed, the locations of pipes and the installation process can hurt their overall efficiency.

However, when you live in a very cold climate, the extra cost of professional installation of a high-efficiency system is more than recouped after several years of use due to the lower energy costs you pay while keeping your home warm. You may be able to see a return on the investment when heating a very large home in a mild climate, as well. You may be able to save money too if you install a system that replaces both the old boiler and your hot water heater.

Whether selecting the HVAC system for a new home, replacing a broken furnace or upgrading to a more energy-efficient heating system, you need to take the correct factors into account so that you’re truly comfortable with your choice. Understand everything that goes into the decision so that you make the right one.

What Should You Know Installing Basement Bathroom

The idea to add a bathroom or additional rough plumbing for your bathroom installation in your finished basement can not only expand the usable square footage and improve the value of your property. Besides, the basement is a below ground space, means that installing basement bathroom or shower, a toilet or sink can require more handiwork than for basic plumbing and can become a serious undertaking. The cost of running new bathroom can dominate your budget, so set priorities and decide where to splurge and where to save. Costs for installation a basement bathroom are the same as for an upper level one, however, the concrete foundation, running water lines and providing drainage make it absolutely different.

Installing a new basement bathroom means new rough plumbing bathroom installation. There are a few options that can differ depending on your space. If your home was built above the sewer lines, then rough plumbing for your bathroom installation can be attached in the same way for upper level bathrooms.

In case if a home’s sewage pipes run above the level on which the basement is built, then there are two other possible systems from which a homeowner can choose in order to install basement bathroom rough plumbing. The first is an up-flushing system that relies on various tubes to push used water into the main sewage line. The other idea is a sewage-ejector system. These systems work like a septic tank as they are enclosed in a container that sits beneath a toilet.

Digging into the foundation of a home requires knowledge about how to provide venting for a drain and avoiding other water systems which could cause future leaks. If installing basement bathroom rough plumbing requires going beneath the concrete, it is better to consider the opinion of a professional contractor.

In addition, before installing basement bathroom or shower make a cost estimation of the project to set a budget. It can be a daunting challenge, if you are not familiar with construction estimating. The only option is to ask a contractor to quote the price. Bathroom plumbing installation is the most expensive area of your project. Actual costs will depend on conditions, job size and size options.