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Home energy systems

SPONSORED - Statistically, home heating and energy systems last 16 to 20 years. If you're running on the far side of that spectrum, Neil Kappen from Ballard Natural Gas suggests that it might be time to replace your furnace.

Neil recommends doing a "planned replacement," as opposed to a reactionary replacement.

"Consumers tend to make reactionary decisions without doing the proper research," he says, "so about year 16, you should start planning for that."

The best way to make sure you get the full life out of your heating system, Neil says, is regular maintenance. First, you should "[clean] all the components and [check] the burners for the fuel combustion," he says. "The biggest thing hurting systems is not that it breaks, but that it's running improperly and is going to break."

Neil adds that having a proper surge protector connected to your furnace is a great way to ensure your $5,000 investment will continue to run its full lifespan. "People spend $50 for a surge protector for a $400 TV, but they won't invest in a $200 surge protector for their $5,000 furnace. It makes no sense."

If you're in the market for a new furnace, Neil says it's important to contact a technician to perform a "load calc," or load calculation to determine how much heat your home needs, and how much heat it loses in the winter. This helps determine the size of the furnace you'll need.

If you're looking for more information regarding heating and energy before purchasing a furnace, Neil recommends checking out the U.S. Department of Energy's website.

Listen to the whole show.

Home Matters with Pete can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. or anytime at KIRORadio.com. Like Home Matters on Facebook.

Cait Walsh, MyNorthwest Writer
Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.
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