Heating Installation in Charlottesville, VA

An Otter Guys employee working on HVAC.

No matter how well you take care of your heating system, the time will come when it’s time for a replacement. Even though this can be stressful for homeowners, our team at The Otter Guys is ready to make the process as easy as possible! Here are some things you need to know about heating system installation services!

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Give us a call today to schedule professional heating installation services. We love serving the HVAC system needs of Charlottesville, VA, and surrounding areas.

When Should I Get A New Heat Pump or Heating System?

Knowing the right time to get a new heating system can help save you money in the long run. While it may not make sense at first, considering the cost of a new HVAC system, older units are often prone to more wear and tear than new units, leading to more expensive repairs. Here are some signs you should get a new heater:

  • Your heating system is older than 10 years – Most experts recommend seeking a replacement every 10-15 years. If you use your unit frequently, you may need a replacement sooner than that.
  • Constant heating repairs – If you find yourself constantly calling the repairman, it may be time to consider a replacement. While there’s some initial sticker shock when it comes to installing new natural gas furnaces or other heat pumps, constantly paying for repairs will have a bigger impact on your checking account.
  • High energy bills – If you have noticed a recent spike in your utility bill, it may be caused by your heating system. Newer heating units are far more energy-efficient than older units, helping you save money on your energy bill.

If you have any questions about whether or not a new heating system is right for your specific needs, give our team a call, and we can help. 

The Different Types of Heating Systems

Understanding the different types of heating systems can help you better understand which unit best fits your home. Of course, our team at The Otter Guys can help you make as informed of a decision as possible. Here are some common heating system units found throughout homes in the Charlottesville, VA, area:


A furnace is a forced air distribution system. This is far and away the most common type of heater throughout the United States. With a furnace, the air is pushed through a series of ducts. This helps distribute heated air throughout the home. Even though these units can heat the air with electricity, propane, or oil, natural gas furnaces are the most common. 

These gas furnaces are the most common type of heating system. That’s because the forced air distribution system (ductwork) can also be used by an air conditioning unit during the summer months. This versatility makes furnaces a perfect unit for most homes.  We have extensive experience installing many types of furnaces, should yours ever need to be looked at.


While boilers aren’t as common as furnaces, they’re still incredibly common heating systems. These systems send hot water or steam through pipes to heat the home. Boilers enable you to practice zoned heating and cooling. However, they are much more expensive than gas furnaces to install and properly maintain. 

A boiler is well worth the price if you are looking for zoned heating options. Boilers are often referred to as central heating systems because the heat is generated in a central area of the home and then distributed throughout the house. 

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are unique in that they can be used to both heat and cool the home. These systems use refrigerant and electricity to transfer heat rather than generating it directly, like a gas furnace. Because of this, heat pumps are often more efficient than other types of heating systems.  There are a number of federal and potentially local rebates and incentives tied to converting from gas-based heating systems to high-efficiency heat pumps. Often, those rebates can result in significant savings relative to other types of heating installations.

One consideration for heat pumps is that they lose efficiency in extremely cold weather. In Virginia, usually, this doesn’t pose a problem for the majority of the year. As part of our installation process, we include a backup electric heat kit on every heat pump to provide comfort during the coldest winter days.

Hybrid Heating

Hybrid heating systems have grown in popularity in recent years. These hybrid systems combine the energy efficiency of a heat pump with the power of a gas furnace. For the majority of the year, the heat pump will be responsible for heating and cooling your home. The furnace only kicks in during the most extreme cold temperatures, when your home desperately needs heated air. 

Since you aren’t relying on just one heating system, the wear-and-tear for both units can be decreased. The downside to hybrid heating is that it is more expensive to install than other units. However, this pairing offers homeowners the energy efficiency benefits of a heat pump, along with the peace of mind of a furnace to keep the house warm during those coldest winter days.

Ductless Mini-Splits

Ductless mini-splits are a popular choice among homeowners who want to control the temperature of each room. This is often found in bigger houses or in houses where one occupant likes the temperature to be much different than another occupant. By getting rid of the need for a large series of air ducts, ductless mini-split systems give you this control. 

These systems allow you to create separate HVAC system zones where each zone has its own separate thermostat. As you can probably imagine, these systems are more pricey than other systems, but they provide more control than other systems. 

Radiant Heating

Radiant heaters are far less common than the heating systems listed above. These systems send hot water or electric heat through special tubes located in the floor, ceiling, or walls. The heat can be generated by oil, gas, propane, or electricity. 

The main benefit of radiant heating is that these systems can last far longer than other systems. However, since special tubes are required and since these tubes are located in the floor, ceiling, or walls, installation and repairs can be very costly. The lifespan of these systems is dependent on their heat source system. 

Baseboard Heaters

Baseboard heaters are typically used for supplemental heating or as a heating add-on. They can be an effective and affordable option. The two types of baseboard heating systems are electric and hydronic. While they can be lower in cost to install up-front, they generally cost more in ongoing utilities.

If you have any questions about which heating system is best for your home, give our team at The Otter Guys a call.

Why Choose The Otter Guys?

When you’re in need of a new heating system, you need to seek the help of an HVAC installation and repair company that you can trust! Our team here at The Otter Guys has built a reputation in the Charlottesville, VA, area for being “otterly” reliable when it comes to homeowners’ heating needs. We want to provide both the best HVAC system service you’ve ever had and the best customer service possible. 

Our goal is to make you a lifelong customer the moment you first call us. We will try to have a professional at your home as quickly as possible to assess your heating or air conditioning needs. From there, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure every single one of your needs is met. Our trained and experienced technicians will provide top-notch heat pump or air conditioner installation services so you won’t have to worry about repairs due to faulty installation which, unfortunately, are very common in the area. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Part of providing the best customer service possible is being there for our customers whenever they have a question. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get when it comes to installing a new heater:

How Much Will a New Heating System Cost?

It really depends on a number of factors, and the type of system you are getting. A Heat Pump can cost anywhere between $6,800 to upwards of $21,000 depending on the size, brand, efficiency, and ancillary work required. You can read more about this in more detail here. Meanwhile, a new furnace may cost anywhere between $4,900 to upwards of $9,600, again depending on a range of factors. You can get more detail here around the costs associated with furnace replacement.

Will I Get a Renewable Tax Credit?

Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, it is possible to get a renewable tax credit on certain energy-efficient systems. This credit is possible if you install residential, small wind turbines, a geothermal heat pump, solar energy systems, fuel cells, and biomass fuel stoves. You can learn more about the bill and how it can help save you money on your taxes here

Are Maintenance Services the Best Way to Extend the Lifespan of an HVAC System?

As a homeowner, you must look for ways to save money. Extending the lifespan of your heating and air conditioning unit so you don’t have to worry about expensive replacements should be at the top of your priority list. The best way to do this is with regular heating maintenance services. These services will help ensure there are no underlying issues that need to be addressed before they snowball into worse issues. 

Maintenance services will also help prepare your heating system for the winter months, ensuring your home has heat when it needs it most. We recommend these services at least once per year, twice if you use your heater frequently. Give us a call, and we can schedule a maintenance check on your unit! 

Can I Install My Heater Myself?

While it may be tempting to want to save money on the labor costs involved, we highly recommend against installing a unit yourself. Not only are these machines incredibly complex, but they can also be dangerous to those without proper training. With so many electrical components, you run the risk of harming yourself or others. On top of that, shoddy installation is one of the biggest causes of expensive repairs. Save yourself some time and hassle, give an expert a call. 

Call Today! 

If you’re in need of heating or HVAC installation services in the Charlottesville, VA, area, give our team at The Otter Guys a call today! We offer a wide range of HVAC system services, including repairs, replacements, new installations, and maintenance. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you have the best indoor air quality!

Contact us today for quality heating installation services in Charlottesville, VA.


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