Real Estate Watch: Time to check your heating system

Real Estate Watch: Time to check your heating system

How are you staying warm this winter — with gas, oil, solar, geothermal or electric?

Do you have an old heating system in your 30- to 100-year-old home?  Did you miss the boat with installing a system this summer or fall and figured you would wait until 2016?  

Thinking Penny Wise, Pound Foolish?

If the last two winters have not convinced you that it was very frigid out (how about last Sundays record setting Valentine’s Day morning, the  -1 degree temperature, set a 100-year record in Central Park!) and maybe a bit cooler inside your home;  then look at your  heating bills for February.   

Even though oil and natural gas prices have been heading lower over the last few years, many have seen their bills head higher for other reasons too.  

It is extremely crucial that a lack of proper insulation in the walls, floors and attic, drafts from under and through poorly designed doors.  

Also older windows lose the most heat and also electrical outlets can bring in cold air, have also contributed to heat loss.

But your current heating system, especially those using oil are probably most inefficient, especially, if you have a very old burner head.  

There are currently oil and gas heating systems that are in the 90% efficiency range, but gas needs no truck deliveries and is less dirty than oil (your home will stay cleaner).  

Gas is still more cost effective than oil but also contributes much less to global warming and the reduction of the Ozone Layer above.  Here are three links to give you more information on how to keep you and your home warmer for the balance of this winter and years to come:

There are a few other ways to heat your home too.   

Solar heating (as well as creating free electricity and selling the excess back to your local utility company) as well as geothermal heating are other potential ways to reduce your heating and energy costs over the long term.  

Many newly constructed homes throughout the U.S. are having these heating and energy technologies initially installed, as an environmental hedge in reducing their carbon footprint and as well as a selling point.  

More important, the substantial government tax credits greatly reduce the initial costs.  

But beware and ask a lot of questions, if installing any of these systems in older homes, before committing.  

Here are two links to provide you information to be more educated on the subject:

Keeping your home warm in the winter and having the most efficient equipment installed will create value in your home when it comes to selling; because buyers most always will start subtracting from the asking price when they see an older heating system, besides other deficiencies.  

If they don’t notice, the home inspector will when inspecting your home before the contract is signed.  

The cost of installing a new system could be less than what your purchaser will reduce your asking price by.  

As I mentioned earlier, oil and gas prices are very low at the moment and maybe for the foreseeable future, with the glut due to the increase of the supplies of oil on the world markets and the slowing of China’s economy.  

I saw gas today in New Hyde Park at a Sunoco gas station for $1.79.  

Of course, I stopped and filled up.  

Although, 250,000 jobs have been lost due to the lower cost of a barrel of oil (from over $100 per barrel a few years ago to the $30+ range, the benefits to the general economy and population has been more positive than negative.  Unfortunately, where there are winners, there have to be losers.  

I am sorry for the loss of those jobs, but many have to retool their knowledge and go back to school and find a new trade or try to start a business.  

But at least, the cost of heating one’s home has been reduced drastically over the years, providing the previous discussed things have been or will be addressed to reduce heat loss and create a more efficient environment.

Philip A. Raices is the owner of Turn Key Real Estate in Great Neck. He can be reached by email: [email protected] or to search for property go to:  www.Li-RealEstate.Com or to phone: (516) 647-4289.  

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