The average furnace life span is approximately 15 years. While the equipment may last that long or even longer, it's likely that your heating bills are higher than they need to be. Components break down and all furnaces lose their efficiency over time.
Factors to consider
- Age of the system – If it’s over 12 years old, it's most likely time to replace
- Extent of existing problems – whether recent repairs have been minor or extensive and costly
- Size of unit – Is the current system over or under-sized for your home? This can lead to premature failure.
- Frequency of repairs
- Efficiency Rating
Investing in a new furnace in this year could be one of the best decisions you make! Here’s why: Efficiency standards for all heating and cooling units sold in the United States are regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Every heater, air conditioner and heat pump is assigned one of these efficiency ratings.
For gas or oil-fired furnaces, the Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating (AFUE) is the standard measure of seasonal efficiency. The AFUE rating is given as a percentage, indicating how much fuel is used to heat your home and how much fuel is wasted.
High-efficiency furnaces, like those that are ENERGY STAR certified, have AFUE ratings of 95% or above. This means that the furnace converts 95% of the fuel that you supply to heat your home - the remaining 5% is lost out of the chimney. Furnaces that are over 10 years old could have an AFUE somewhere around 60%, meaning you could save up to 40% on your gas or oil heating bill by replacing it with a new, high -fficiency furnace!
Save even more with Furnace Rebates
Massachusetts residents have an opportunity for additional savings when replacing their heating and cooling system. Mass Save offers rebates on the purchase and installation of residential heating and cooling equipment that meets certain energy-efficiency specifications.
In addition to lower energy use and improved comfort for your Burlington area home, you may be eligible to receive rebates on the following equipment types:
- Central Air Conditioning/Heat Pumps
- Mini-Split Heat Pumps
If you purchased an ENERGY STAR certified gas furnace in 2016, it will meet the requirements for the Federal Furnace Tax Credit. All other ENERGY STAR Federal tax credits expired at the end of 2016.
Don't Ignore the Warning Signs
Are you noticing odd sounds coming from the furnace? Does it seem colder in the house than last winter? Maybe the pilot keeps going out. Don't wait - call for a check-up now.
Winter will be over in a couple of months, you say. You’ll be shutting the furnace down for a long stretch, so why deal with calling for repairs, right? WRONG. Repairs should always be done at the earliest possible time so the problem will not have the opportunity to worsen.
When you decide to get a new furnace, the best course of action is to call in a certified professional to calculate the correct type of furnace you need, and the one that will keep your home heated effectively and efficiently all season long.
All Total Comfort Mechanical systems, accessories and products are installed with a dedication to quality and reliability. Whether you choose to make repairs or replace your system, you can expect to receive Total Comfort for your home and family.
What is a Ductless Mini-Split air conditioning system? Only one of the hottest-selling cooling systems in the country - Massachusetts included! A trend that took Europe by storm and is now heading westward, these modern, energy-efficient and stylish air conditioners have become such fast sellers that Mitsubishi is challenged to keep up with the growing demand.
Mitsubishi, the world’s top-selling brand of ductless cooling and heating systems, experienced a complete sell-out of its 2013 U.S. inventory well before the end of last year. This caused limited availability and back-orders with Mitsubishi Diamond HVAC specialists throughout the United States.
Nearly six weeks ago, the out-of-stock inventory was made available again and has been flying off the shelves ever since. “Heating and air conditioning specialists” Total Comfort Mechanical of Burlington, MA happily announced the new 2014 mini-split systems were back in stock and contacted their customers to arrange installation to those that had been anxiously awaiting their new Mitsubishi ductless mini-split systems.
The ductless mini-split wave is keeping HVAC contractors extremely busy. "We can hardly keep up with the demand", said Total Comfort Mechanical owner Wendell DePaiva. "We've had so many requests for ductless installs that we completely wiped out our inventory in just a few weeks," DePaiva said, "but we have already restocked and are ready to install."
It seems Massachusetts residents are some of the most energy-conscious the country - the U.S. Green Building Council recently ranked the state #4 in the top 10 list of states leading the nation in green building.
How Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work
Like central air conditioners, ductless units have a split design and don't require a complicated system of ducts. The split system (also called a mini-split, ductless split, or duct-free system) has at least one indoor unit in the home or office (this is the evaporator) and one outdoor unit (the condenser). Line sets, which are copper tubes of refrigerant, are run to the indoor unit from the outdoor unit.
The indoor component can be mounted on the ceiling or the wall and are extremely quiet when in operation. Read more about ductless ac systems here.
With the booming popularity of ductless systems, the product selection is getting wider - many electronics manufacturers now offer their versions of ductless appliances. Considering that many smaller brand names typically don't specialize in heating and cooling solutions, it's important to note that it can be a challenge to find qualified technicians to install and service them.
The specialists at Total Comfort Mechanical recommend sticking with a trusted, industry leader that provides a solid warranty on their product and has a network of certified and trained Diamond Contractors to perform the installation and service. "It's smart to get a few estimates from qualified and certified HVAC contractors before making the investment," DePaiva advises.
Check with your local Better Business Bureau or other local chamber organizations to learn about the reputation of the heating and air conditioning contractors in your area. Burlington MA residents and neighboring MA cities can request a quote or more information on ductless AC solutions here or the following link:
Finally there’s some good news from Washington DC. Relief has been provided to homeowners that have made energy efficiency improvements in 2013 or plan to invest in such improvements this year.
While representatives haggled over the notorious “Fiscal Cliff” earlier this year, Congress voted to extend the popular Federal tax credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency. This serves as an incentive to upgrade systems in existing homes by installing energy- efficient air conditioning systems, heat pumps and hot water heaters. Other improvements such as roofing, windows and insulation may also qualify.
The tax credit amount varies depending on the type of energy-efficient heating and air conditioning component(s) installed. To be eligible, the products must be installed in a home that you own and serves as your primary residence.
Central Air Conditioning products must meet certain minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) or Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) to qualify. Heat Pumps are given a Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The higher the SEER, EER or HSPF, the more efficient the system is.
Which heating and air conditioning improvements are eligible for the Federal tax credit?
Central Air Conditioning Systems (CACs)
- Split Systems (outdoor compressor, indoor evaporator coil and air handler) 16 SEER, 13 EER or above
- Package Systems (all-in-one outdoor pack) rated 14 SEER, 12 EER or above
- Tax Credit amount: 10% of cost, maximum credit: $300.00
Geothermal Heat Pumps
- All Energy Star qualified heat pumps are eligible
- Tax Credit amount: 30% of cost, no upper limit
Air Source Heat Pumps
- Split Systems with a minimum 8.5 HSPF, 12.5 EER, or 15 SEER
- Package Systems with a minimum 8 HSPF, 12 EER, or 14 SEER
- Tax Credit amount: 10% of cost, maximum credit: $300.00
Natural Gas, Propane or Oil Furnaces and Boilers
- Must be rated AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) 95% or above
- Tax Credit amount: 10% of cost, maximum credit: $150.00
Most of the tax credits allow inclusion of the cost of installation in the eligible amount, but there is a lifetime maximum credit allowance of $500.00. If you have or plan to install energy-efficient products, call Total Comfort Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning in Burlington, MA – to consult with professional HVAC experts and find out if any other rebates are available. Be sure to also consult a tax advisor for specific details when filing your tax r