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If you have been shopping around for a home heating system, you may have come to realize that there are many options and decisions to make. You have to consider the fuel source and cost, the type of heating system, and which heating contractor to work with. There are also details of system sizing and home efficiency upgrades that impact performance. To make your task easier, use the following tips from home heating pros.


The most popular furnaces burn natural gas, propane, or oil to heat your home. Since climate, availability, lifestyle, and budget are all important considerations, there is no boilerplate answer for choosing the “best” heating source. Though, consider the following:
•    Natural gas: Natural gas furnaces are very practical if you have a connection to your home.
•    Propane: Furnaces using propane burn cleaner than natural gas. You also have the option to purchase larger quantities of propane when prices are lower.
•    Oil: Oil furnaces are known for their long lifespans when they are properly maintained. If you decide on an oil or propane furnace, choose a heating contractor that provides great service for fuel delivery and pricing.

Boilers and Radiant Heating

Boilers use gas or oil to heat water for radiant heating (also called hydronic heating). Radiant heating is provided by hot water circulating through piping installed in the floor or walls. Radiant heating is most practical for home renovations or new construction.

Dual Fuel Heating

The most common type of heat pump is an air-source heat pump. Though, air-source heat pumps are impractical to provide home heating as a stand-alone system in the Lehigh Valley area. Air-source heat pumps are best utilized when combined with a furnace as a dual fuel system. In this way, you’ll heat your home with the most efficient energy source at any given time.


Geothermal heat pumps are a different animal. Rather than air-to-air heat exchange, geothermal systems exchange heat energy with the ground or a water source. Geothermal heat pumps have a higher first cost than air-source systems. However, they generally last twice as long, which often avails a lower lifetime cost.

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps

Ductless systems are great solutions for conditioning room additions, retrofitted attic space, home offices, and anywhere you need efficient space heating and cooling. Following are benefits of going ductless:

  • Low profile: A compact outdoor unit may mount to your home or firm surface. The indoor air-handling unit may be concealed or mounted to a wall or ceiling.
  • Versatile: The concealed piping system may extend more than 100 feet, giving you many location options.
  • Installation: Ductless systems are typically installed in less than a day.

Advanced Features

Advanced features often make the difference between adequate heating and superior home heating. Consider the following advanced features for heating and airflow output and venting:

  • Modulating: A modulating furnace automatically adjusts heating output on the fly to meet your heating demand to within one degree.
  • Condensing: Condensing furnaces use two heat exchangers to extract maximum heat energy from gases that would otherwise go up the flue.
  • Sidewall: Venting and combustion are generally sealed in a two-piping sidewall installation, which offers the greatest efficiency and safety.
  • Blower: A variable-speed blower motor precisely matches your heating needs to maintain quiet, efficient home heating.

Heating Contractors

The single most important decision on your plate for installing the right home heating system for your needs is choosing the right heating contractor. Following are good reasons why:

  • Heat/gain: Your home should be evaluated room to room for heat gain/loss prior to sizing your heating system.
  • Sizing: Your new heating system should be correctly sized using HVAC industry best practices.
  • Ducts: The ductwork should be tested for correct sizing and tightness.
  • ROI: A lifetime cost analysis should be performed of each system to determine your true investment.
  • Optional equipment: Your contractor should be knowledgeable of optional equipment, such as whole-home humidification, air purification, and zoning systems.

Above all, work with an experienced heating contractor with a proven track record. Contact Edwin Stipe, Inc. today for the best results, and peace of mind.  Call (877) 337-8473.

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