Articles & Advice

Pittsburgh Gas Furnaces

by Jon Nunan

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Heating a house in southwestern Pennsylvania is a big job, and many homeowners in the area use a gas furnace to get it done. In fact, forced air type heat is the most prevalent kind of heating system in the country. These units, if well maintained, can last for a long time, and newer model gas furnaces are extremely energy efficient. A Pittsburgh gas furnace is forced to put in pretty long hours over the winter. To keep the temperature in your home comfortable and your energy bills low, an older furnace might require a bit of TLC in the off season, and in some cases, might even need to be replaced.

Pittsburgh Gas Furnace Maintenance
Obviously, if your furnace is already malfunctioning, you should have it attended to before the problem gets worse. Your heater doesn't have to be broken, however, for it to need a bit of a tune-up. The best time to do this kind of work is of course in the spring or summer, when it won't matter that you might not be able to turn it on for a while.

Hiring a professional to inspect your system has many benefits. You can get existing problems fixed, you can prevent problems from appearing, and you can lower your energy bills by making sure the unit is functioning at its best. A professional heating technician will also be able to tell you what you can do to extend the life of your furnace as well as give you a heads-up if it will soon be time to get a replacement unit.

Replacing a Gas Furnace in Pittsburgh
In some areas of the country, getting a new furnace is not only a once in a century operation, it also may not make too much of a difference in energy costs or in how comfortable a house is. In Pittsburgh, gas furnaces are used often enough that an older model (with 80% efficiency or less) that is replaced with a new furnace (with more than 90% efficiency) can bring annual savings that are easy to notice and make a significant difference in how your house feels, too.

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In some cases, people replace an older unit not just to lower their bills and have a more comfortable environment in the winter, but to have a cooler home in the summer, as well. Unlike homes with a boiler or radiator heating system, gas furnaces and forced air units can easily be upgraded to include central air conditioning and humidity controls. Just imagine having a house that's warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and having the option to change the moisture levels in your home, as well. You can even buy a furnace/condenser system that is designed to filter out allergens and air contaminants as it heats and cools.

Pittsburgh Gas Furnace Repair and Replacement Prices
Having a furnace examined once a year is generally very inexpensive. Minor repairs should cost between $50 and $150. To replace your gas furnace, Pittsburgh residents should expect a bill somewhere in the vicinity of $4,000 or $5,000. In some particularly difficult cases (for example, when ductwork also needs to be replaced and/or rerouted or when other such complications are present), the price plus the cost of installing a new furnace can get as high as $10,000. It has been estimated that replacing an old furnace (with an energy efficiency of less than 80%) with a high efficiency system (95% or better) can reduce annual heating costs by as much as 24%.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.