Since Pennsylvania isn't the warmest state in the union, it goes without saying that it is necessary to have some type of heating system in Pittsburgh. It's also nice when that heating system is functioning well and doesn't waste money due to poor efficiency. Unfortunately, many Pittsburgh heating systems are far beyond their prime and either need a lot of attention, or, in the more severe cases, might need to be replaced. If you are thinking of upgrading your home's heat, or if you are building a house and trying to decide what kind of system is right for you, there are several things to take into account.
Common Types of Heating Systems
Most homes are either heated by radiators containing hot water or steam, or they are heated by a forced air system. Older homes generally contain the former, while the latter is often used in newer constructions. Each system has its good and bad points.
Forced air systems are generally a lot less expensive to install because radiators are more difficult to put in and the units themselves can get pretty pricey. On the average, they cost more to operate than newer hot water or steam systems, but heat more efficiently than older homes with radiators. The heat that they produce is very dry.
Hot water and steam systems give off a heat that contains a lot more moisture than the heat produced by forced air. Many people find that this heat is much more comfortable, which has caused radiator systems to grow more popular in new construction, despite their higher initial cost. These systems can last an extremely long time; many homes have had the same radiator system for 75 years or more! Some older homes? radiators have been switched from steam heat to hot water heat (or vice-versa), which, in most cases, makes the system less efficient today. Often, these systems can become more cost effective by changing them back to their original design.
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Improving your Pittsburgh Heating System
If your wintertime heating costs are higher than the U.S. Steel Tower, it might be time to give your system a much-needed upgrade. Homes with forced air systems that are no longer running up to speed should consider a replacement that will not only provide cheaper heat, but can also be purchased with a cooling unit (during the Pittsburgh summers, central air can really come in handy). Radiator systems don't really go hand-in-hand with air conditioning, but the savings over a few winters from purchasing a newer, more efficient boiler might be enough to buy a few window units.
If you aren't positive that your system needs to be replaced, it's a good idea to have a professional come and have a look at it. Many problems that might seem very large may turn out to be easily fixed. Regular maintenance on your home's heater is important, and could mean a savings of hundreds of dollars in the right situation.
Pittsburgh Heating System Prices
To install or completely replace a forced air heating system, Pittsburgh residents can expect to pay around $5,000 (though, in rare cases, prices can go as high as $10,000). Prices will be slightly higher for installing a radiator system. Obviously, you'll want to get this kind of work done during the summer; with job durations that can easily last more than a week, this kind of project done during the winter can get downright frigid!