One of the most dreaded phrases when it comes to home repair is, “you need a new heating and cooling system.” If you’re like most people, we push our systems to the very end hoping to make it one more season. Inevitably, that phrase seems to come at the most unwanted time: a holiday, when relatives are in town, or during some other special event. But when emergencies happen, you don’t always have the time to think through the process.
Here's where a little advanced planning can go a long way.
When looking at a new system, energy efficiency is one factor we hope you consider before buying. Every home needs a specific number of BTUs to make it through the winter and summer months. How you get those BTUs will affect your back pocket.
Energy Advisor Tip: Ask your contractor to tell you how many BTUs your home needs.
An average home uses roughly 70 million BTUs each winter for heat. If you take any of the above numbers and multiply them by 70, you will get a rough estimate of what it will cost you to heat a home for the winter season.
Every type of fuel source has different options to produce those BTUs. You can even combine options such as having a heat pump with a propane furnace, or you can put in a geothermal system with the option of fossil fuel as your backup, or you can have an electric backup to your main source.
There are many factors that come into play when the final decision is made. So, when you are talking with different HVAC contractors, make sure they are giving you all your options for your home.
If you think geothermal is right for you (and we strongly recommend it!), check out our rebate page for our current list of incentives and rebates. Every home is different and so various factors come into play when the final HVAC system is chosen. If you need assistance, you can always call our office and speak with our Energy Advisor.
How we did the math
Natural Gas: @ .96, 95% efficiency, 100,000 BTUs / Therm
.96 X 1,000,000
.95 X 100,000 = $10.11
Geothermal system: @ .14, 4.3 Efficiency, 3,413 BTUs/kwh
.14 X 1,000,000
4.3 X 3,413 = $9.54
Propane: @ $2.20, 95% Efficiency, 92,000 BTUs/gallon
2.20 X 1,000,000
.95 X 92,000 = $25.17
Heat Pump: @ .14, 2.5 Efficiency, 3413 BTUs/ kwh
.14 x 1,000,000
2.5 X 3,413 = $16.41
Electric Heat: @ .14, 1.00 Efficiency, 3413 BTUs/ kwh
.14 X 1,000,000
1 x 3,413 = $41.02