This weekend I saw a record number of Canadian geese.
Because of our proximity to Bay and wetlands, that shouldn’t have made me think twice, but the oddly long rains, horrifying heat wave and deeply foggy spells, coupled with the garden going into early flower have had me wondering just what kind of a winter we’re going to have. While I’m dying to get my hands on some beautiful cabinets, if we have to burn them in a metal barrel for heat this winter (since we won’t be able to afford our electric bill) it will lessen their beauty… so it’s time for a more energy-efficient heater. I love summer power bills. They never go above $50, and this is with humidifiers and fans running practically nonstop. With a place this small, our bill should NEVER go above $50, no matter how prices swing. So! I’m going to a.) buy new blankets (maybe even a new electric throw or two for downstairs, so it’s still usable space when it gets cold) b.) price and buy a new heater.
Heaters, schneeters. The things you can’t really show off in your home remodel are nonetheless also sometimes the most expensive things you’ve done to your home. Love our new windows? WHAT? You didn’t notice them!? I guess one cannot expect to have people traipse up and look lovingly with us at our new furnace, but if the geese gatherings are any clue, we need to get on this one, and soon…
Consumer Reports did the usual piece last December about how best to heat without losing all your cash, and last year we did the first big project to cut costs, which was to insulate everything that didn’t move, and seal or caulk everything a breeze might sneak through. We programmed our thermostat. We changed our air filters. Now we need to replace our lighting with either LED’s or compact fluorescents, and get a more efficient forced air heating system and air cleaner. The ‘and air cleaner’ bit is probably important, as we’re getting rid of the carpet and the old dust, and although the air will be cleaner, forced air is still dusty and dry and we need to clean out of it what we can.
Let me tell you: furnace research is boring, deadly dull, but necessary. I have, however, come up with a wonderful find from American Standard (the same happy people who made the toilet!) and let’s just hope it doesn’t cost everything we have:
- Multispeed blower motor – Operates quietly and efficiently, gently warming and maintaining comfort. Handles all central air conditioning needs, too.
- Induced draft venting – Quietly draws hot gases through the heat exchanger, maximizing the heat transfer efficiencies of the exchanger design.
- Multi-port in-shot burners – Perfectly shape the flame cone for the maximum heat possible while using less fuel.
- Adaptive hot surface silicon nitride igniter – Starts burners electrically for safe, efficient operation. There’s no pilot light constantly burning fuel.
- Aluminized steel heat exchanger – Crimped, not welded, to prevent cracks from heat stress. Stamped serpentine channel offers the greatest efficiency in less space. Backed by our lifetime limited warranty.
- Stainless steel secondary heat exchanger – Captures more of the heat you pay for.
- Heavy steel insulated cabinet -Holds more heat in the furnace to better warm your home. Also assures greater durability and quieter operation.
- Self-diagnostic controls – Manage every function with digital accuracy. Include safety features and a built-in troubleshooting system.
- Sound-insulated blower compartment – Assures the quietest possible operation.
- 100% fresh air option – Uses 100% outdoor air for combustion for increased equipment life and cleaner air.
- Dual door latches allow easy access to the filter for cleaning or changing.
- Cleanable filter means you can rinse or vacuum it without buying replacements each time.
- Spring-loaded filter rack automatically adjusts for standard off-the-shelf filters.
Does anyone else know the difference between a single-stage and two-stage heating system? Does anyone else keep this kind of information in their brain for the five minutes it takes them to do a price comparison like I do? Gone, gone the way of quadratic equations, I flush this bit of knowledge down my mental drain…and now, onward to LED bulbs.