Heating & Furnace Contractors in Chicago, IL
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Chicago Heating Systems
While folks in some parts of the country might need to turn up their thermostats every once in a while when there's a slight chill to the air, in Chicago, heating systems are a way of life. The long, cold winters common to the area are harsh enough that, without a boiler or furnace in good working order, "uncomfortable" doesn't even begin to describe the problem. A Chicago heating system is required to work hard for long periods of time every year, and with fuel prices rising, this is no inexpensive task. There's good reason to want your heating system to be in good working order; there are several things to consider before you upgrade or otherwise alter your current system.
Furnace powered forced air heating systems are the most common types of central heat in the country, and in Chicago, as well. They are extremely efficient and provide quick, plentiful heat for all areas of even a large house. If your furnace is more than 15 or 20 years old, however, you may be due for an upgrade. Newer furnaces are far more efficient than their predecessors, and will use less fuel to provide the same amount of heat. In a place where the heating system can last for many months, the savings you'll accrue both in lower monthly bills and in less frequent repair costs is often significant enough to make furnace replacement sensible, even if your current unit is fairly reliable.
Boiler and Radiator Heating Systems
Boiler and radiator heating systems are more expensive to install than forced air, and are generally only found in older homes. Many people prefer the air quality that these systems provide, however, as forced air tends to be very dry. Radiator systems have proven their durability over the years, and many can last for decades upon decades and still function well. You might consider replacing a boiler that is long past its prime to improve efficiency. However, switching from radiator heat to a forced air system can be extremely costly as significant alterations are often necessary to install ductwork and remove radiators and pipes.
Other Heating Systems
Some smaller apartments may be heated solely by electric baseboard heaters. This makes sense in a small setting, but is less efficient in a large home. You might consider, however, installing electric heaters in certain rooms (particularly popular in bathrooms, but also found in living rooms or bedrooms) to supplement heating without having to heat the entire house. A fireplace can also be used to create additional heat in a room without having to turn on your central system.
To replace the furnace in your heating system, Chicago residents should expect a bill somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000 or $5,000 (add a little more if you are replacing a boiler). Depending on how involved the project is, however, prices can go as low as two or three thousand or as high as ten thousand or more. Repairs for both systems are usually a few hundred dollars. Installing electric heaters in a room generally runs about $600.
The best thing you can do as a homeowner to lower the price and reduce the frequency of repairs is to have your heating system checked out annually by a professional. This is often very inexpensive and can save you a lot of trouble (not to mention decrease repair costs, lengthen the life of your system, and keep it running efficiently) in the long run.
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