Washington DC Heating Systems

by Jon Nunan

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Being able to easily control the temperature of our homes during the winter is a given for most properties in modern America. In Washington DC, heating systems are a necessity when the snow starts to fall, but if yours isn't functioning efficiently, returning from a busy day to your cozy home might be costing you a lot more than is necessary. For those older homes in Washington DC, heating systems that run less than smoothly can be an even bigger drain. If you are considering an update to your current heating system, going into the process with a good understanding of why efficient boilers and furnaces are worth the larger initial cost (as well as with a good understanding of what's on the market today) can make the expense a bit more bearable and the decision of which one to purchase a little easier.

Boiler and Radiator Heating Systems in Washington DC
Due to their high installation cost, boilers and radiators are less common in modern construction than forced air heating systems, but Washington DC's older properties are often home to these set-ups. Thankfully, radiator systems that were built decades ago often function extremely well despite their age. If properly maintained and repaired when necessary, radiator systems have an extremely long life expectancy, but that doesn't mean that you won't see a boost in function by upgrading to a new boiler. Some boiler and radiator systems might have been switched in the past from a hot water set-up to a steam set-up (or vice-versa). In such cases, converting your system's function back to its original design can sometimes enhance efficiency.

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Washington DC Furnace Systems
Furnace driven forced air set-ups are the most common type of heating system in the country. Far less expensive to install than radiator systems, forced air is common in new and old properties alike. In Washington DC, forced air is probably the most energy-efficient option for most homes. For homeowners in warmer parts of the country who are considering furnace replacement, purchasing the most energy efficient model on the market might be a waste of money. However, in DC where the winters are cold and the spring and fall each have their share of chilly nights, a high efficiency furnace might be a good investment. When compared to furnaces installed a few decades ago (especially those that have been used frequently), today's high efficiency furnaces can provide the same amount of heat in the same amount of time while using far less fuel. With monthly heating costs forever on the rise, a new furnace might actually pay for itself!

Heat Pumps in Washington DC
While DC is certainly home to some pretty cold winters, the climate is just mild enough that some homeowners prefer the convenience of a heat pump to a traditional furnace system. Not only can a heat pump warm your home during the winter, it can cool it in the summer, as well. Heat pumps work through a single system of ductwork and can keep your home at the temperature you want it all year round. Though less of an option in very cold cities (think Boston or Buffalo) and not as effective in extreme heat, Washington DC's optimal balance of warm an cold annual temperatures make this a viable, and very energy-efficient option.

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.