Home Heating System Guide for Every Homeowner

Searching for the right heating system for your home is not a simple task.  There are so many factors to consider including what type of heating system to buy, efficiency ratings, warranties and who should I get to install it?  This home heating system guide will teach all homeowners how to choose a heating system that will not only have a long life, it will save hundreds of dollars in energy costs.

Efficiency Ratings

These standards have been established by the United States Department of Energy mandating that all natural gas heating systems should have the AFUE rating or the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, which is expressed in percentage. This efficiency rating in itself is among the things you can learn in this home heating system guide.

Go over this home heating system guide and learn all the essentials involving your home heating system.

The Minimum Efficiency Standard

  • 78% AFUE for Furnaces
  • 80% AFUE for gas-fired boilers
  • 75% AFUE for gas-fired steam

The more energy-efficient a home heating system is, the higher its AFUE rating. Hence, it requires less energy in heating your home.

For instance, installing a new and energy-efficient furnace with a 94% AFUE lets you enjoy 94 cents of heat for each energy dollar you spend. Meanwhile, an older and less efficient system with a 60% AFUE rating gives you 60 cents worth of heat for each energy dollar you pay.

Yearly Savings: Simple Payback

Installing a home heating system with a 90% AFUE than another model with an 80% AFUE will translate to a yearly energy savings of $115, with around three years of simple payback.

High-Efficiency Furnaces

Those furnaces that have a 90% AFUE rating are known as condensing furnaces and provide the biggest savings of all.

They have around 90% AFUE rating, which they achieve by sending flue gasses via a secondary heat exchanger. Then, it further removes heat that your home can still use.

The flue gasses that remains then goes out of the exhaust doors via a unique plastic vent pipe running through your home’s wall. It’s a particular configuration of “direct vent” piping that draws outside air inside for combustion. And because the combustion process does not need indoor air, there’s a lower likelihood of cold air leakage or infiltration, leading to more energy savings.

High-Efficiency Boilers

On the average, a boiler can stay productive anywhere in between 20 to 30 years. Thus, you better choose an efficient one to minimize long-term expenses. Forced hot water boilers are the most efficient in this category, and have about an 85% AFUE rating or higher. To ensure more energy savings, buy one with an 82% AFUE rating or higher.


Most of the time, you’d likely install or modify a ductwork when you install energy-efficient systems. Talk to an HVAC expert to discuss the appropriate venting methods for your home.


Home heating systems are big investments. Ensure that you go over the warranty that goes with your new equipment.

The manufacturer often covers parts and labor as well as the installing contractor during the first year. But since a high-efficiency furnace is often a top-of-the-line product, it usually has a longer warranty.

Sizing Home Heating Systems

Ask a heating professional to conduct a load calculation, so that he can determine the right furnace size for your home. You’d be wasting too much energy with an oversized system but don’t have enough heating with a much smaller system. The expert should also include overall insulation evaluation to get the bigger picture.

Hiring a Heating Contractor

Call at least three heating contractors to check out your home and give you a quotation. Reliable HVAC companies will likely be sending an estimator to assess and conduct a heat-loss calculation of your home. Make sure they furnish you with a written estimate that specifies the work to be done, the price you agreed upon, and how long the work will be carried out. A lot of these contractors offer service after installing your home heating system.

Hopefully, this home heating system guide can help homeowners become more familiar with their home heating system and reduce breakdowns without paying more than necessary or suffer in the cold.