Home & Commercial Heating Systems
Heating your home or business today is not the same as it was thirty years ago. In fact, home heating systems are even different from ten years ago. Today we pay a lot more attention to insulation and keeping our energy inside the home. In the past, fuel was cheap and there wasn't a thought that it may run out. If a big furnace was good, then the thought was that an even bigger furnace would be better. This difference is apparent in just the size of the equipment today versus in the past. Take a look at our furnace installation pictures
where you will see the size difference.
Be Sure a Manual J is Performed to Correctly Size Your Furnace Needs
Even from ten years ago you can see the difference just in the process to replace a furnace. Today,
furnace manufacturers recommend (and will be requiring) a Manual J heat loss/heat gain to size the equipment for every home heating system. If a Manual J load is not done on your home or business when you replace your furnace, the installer is just guessing.
How do they know that you put more insulation in the attic, re-sided your building, or replaced all the windows? If they don't ask, they can be oversizing because you made your home or office more energy efficient. That's why you did it right? They basically said you paid that money and did the work for nothing by not performing a Manual J heat loss/heat gain. Every new system needs to be sized by Manual J, whether you are replacing a boiler, a forced-air furnace, or installing a geothermal or hybrid system. See our FAQs
for more information on Manual J.
We at Olsons Heating are a full service heating contractor. What does that mean to you? It means that no matter what type of heat, from forced air to boiler, we have trained professionals to make sure the heating system is installed correctly and that it is properly serviced for years to come.
Boilers - Heating Home Or Office With Hot Water Systems:
We offer high efficiency boilers from Crown
, and Prestige
. These are some of the best names in the industry when it comes to home heating boilers. Some of the new features of home
boiler heating systems are their compact size and on-demand features so you only heat water when you want to heat the house.
Also, some features include hot water heating systems. Now with one system you can heat your home and your hot water for showers and washing dishes. And, like a forced air furnace, many of today's high efficiency boilers have an efficiency rating above 90%.
CARRIER & YORK FORCED AIR FURNACES:
Not much has changed in the world of forced air home heating furnaces. The same principle applies: burn a fossil fuel to heat up a metal chamber, then blow air across the chamber to remove the heat and distribute it throughout the home or office. The advances in today's high efficiency furnaces are their comfort and efficiency. Most home heating systems installed in the Madison Wisconsin region include high efficiency furnaces, meaning a rating of 90% or above. York and Carrier both offer 95% or better high efficiency furnaces.
You can have a furnace that is 80% efficient, but it will cost more to operate over its life due to our longer heating season compared to cooling. In more southern climates the opposite is true, so they focus on using high efficiency air conditioners. (See our air conditioning page
for discussion of SEER and cost effectiveness).
In terms of comfort, many furnaces offer two stage or modulating heat output (modulating is a York
exclusive). This is designed to give more even heat without the blast of hot air then cooling off of the home and then the blast of hot again. There is some fuel savings but it is designed for enhanced home comfort.
Probably the single most important advancement in forced air furnaces is the ECM ( Electronically Commuted Motor) or better known as a variable speed blower motor. With variable speed (or V/S) blower motors, the fan keeps running on the furnace to distribute tempered air thoughout the home. It is more efficient to run the fan this way with an ECM than with a standard single speed blower motor turned on year round. It is actually so efficient that the utility company will give you a $150 rebate for installing a high efficiency furnace with a V/S blower motor.
By running the fan all the time you will be mixing the air and pulling cold air out of the basement and the hot air from upstairs. The thermostat doesn't really care about your home ... we know that must sound funny, but it doesn't. The thermostat only cares about the foot of air around it. If it did care about the whole home it would automatically know that it is 10 degrees warmer upstairs in the summer than the main level and it would run the air conditioner accordingly.
Luckily, the V/S fan does care and it will help to make all temperatures the same in the home. If you don't have a V/S blower motor and want to see if one would help your home, go to the thermostat and turn the fan switch on for a few days. If you notice a difference around the home then you know a variable speed high efficiency furnace will help you.
As a side note, most of you with central air have already figured out that variable speed will help your home and you probably didn't even know it. What do most of us do in the summer when the central air is on? We turn the fan on and let it run even when the central air turns off, don't we? Why? Because it keeps the house more comfortable!
If you live in the Madison and Mount Horeb Wisconsin vicinity and would like more information about our heating systems and services, please call us at (608) 437-3666 or complete our online form
to schedule a no cost, no obligation appointment.