Is it Time for a Personalized Heating Plan?

If freezing temps and rising energy costs have you considering a new furnace, consider a holistic look at your indoor climate too.

What’s a Pittsburgher to do when it’s freezing outside, when you know there are a few more months of it coming your way, and when the prices of energy (and everything else) are rising?

The answer is a personalized heating plan.

What exactly is a personalized heating plan, you ask?

It’s a holistic approach that optimizes your indoor climate. A personalized heating plan keeps you comfortable and saves you money not only in the winter, but all year, and for years to come.

Two more features of a personalized heating plan: it’s tailored for your unique home, and automated so you don’t have to think about it.

In terms of quality-of-life improvements, a personalized heating plan is right up there with a kitchen remodel. It’s arguably even more impactful to your daily life than a kitchen remodel. You need to eat every day, but you need to breathe and regulate body temperature all day, every day.

And optimizing your indoor climate is a lot faster and easier than remodeling your kitchen. 

So if you’re ready to automate your comfort through the winter (and the other three seasons too), lower your heating bills, and stop deciding between pressing the up arrow on your thermostat or putting on another sweater, a personalized heating plan may be just the thing you need.

In today’s post, we’ll outline our process for creating a personalized heating plan and describe what it contains.

Our goal is to help you decide if you’re ready to implement a personalized heating plan in your home.

Let’s get started!

What’s the Difference Between Installing a New Furnace and Implementing a Personalized Heating Plan?

At Kowalski Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we replace a lot of furnaces as the ones in Pittsburgh homes reach the end of their lives.

A furnace replacement will absolutely make your indoor climate more comfortable and drive down your heating costs in the winter months. Especially if you install a modern, fuel-efficient furnace.

So what’s so special or different about a personalized heating plan?

Well, the key difference between a furnace replacement and a personalized heating plan is the scope of services:

Replacing a furnace is a transaction focused on a specific piece of equipment. A furnace replacement may be the only thing you need if your current furnace is older, not energy-efficient, underperforming, or breaking down on you.

Creating a personalized heating plan is a comprehensive service that looks at your overall comfort. A personalized heating plan may be what you need if any of the following are true:

  • The temperature in your home is uneven and you can’t seem to regulate it.
  • You’d like to improve your air quality rather than just your air temperature.
  • You can no longer accept higher energy bills in the winter, and you’re ready to invest in long-term energy savings.

To further describe the differences between these two types of services, here’s what each one looks like:

When we replace a furnace, we use the following approach:

  • Objective: We provide the customer with an upgrade to their existing furnace that delivers the best reliability, efficiency, and longevity at the price point that the customer can afford.
  • Scope of work: Our furnace replacement services emphasize the furnace appliance itself. We focus on delivering a model with the features that make the most sense for the homeowner and their home.
  • Assessment: We determine the size and type of furnace needed, focusing on factors like the size of the home; the existing furnace’s condition, capacity, and features; and the efficiency levels of the candidate new furnace models.
  • Installation: We remove the old furnace, install the new one, configure all the connections, and put it through a heating cycle to ensure it is working properly.

When we create a personalized heating plan, we use the following approach:

  • Objective: Beyond upgrading the customer’s current heating system, we provide them with an optimized year-round climate throughout their home.
  • Scope of work: Our services emphasize not only the furnace itself but additional HVAC elements that work with the furnace to deliver temperate, healthy air continuously, in the most automated way possible. A personalized heating project includes zoning, air distribution and circulation, and indoor air quality. Often it also includes air conditioning. This is because any design for an optimal indoor climate considers both the warm-weather months and the cold-weather months.
  • Assessment: Along with determining the ideal size and type of a new furnace (and potentially a new air conditioner), we also evaluate the home’s layout, materials, insulation, ductwork, fuel type, vent and return placement, energy usage, areas of heat loss, air quality, lot features, home occupants, and homeowner climate preferences.
  • Installation: We install a new furnace plus any other HVAC appliances and accessories we’ve decided upon with the homeowner, such as new ductwork (we design this ourselves), an air conditioner, a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, an energy recovery ventilator (ERV), an air purification system, and/or a smart thermostat.

Now let’s describe how we put together personalized heating plans.

Building a Personalized Heating Plan: Our Process

When you request a personalized heating plan, our process for delivering it is detailed and customer-centric. Here’s how we work with you from start to finish:

Initial Consultation

This is quick and usually happens over the phone. We gather basic information about your home, including its age and type, approximate square footage, location, current heating system, and your specific concerns or needs. We also schedule a time that we can visit your home for an assessment.

In-Person Home Assessment

In this step, we complete an on-site inspection that consists of the following steps:

  • A home walkthrough: We assess all the factors that affect your HVAC system, including your current heat source, ductwork, home layout, window and door placement, vent and return placement, and lot considerations. If you live in an older home, the walkthrough is especially important. Heating older homes can be challenging for a variety of reasons, which we covered in a previous blog post. The walkthrough will uncover the particular challenges your older home may have with respect to heating, and your personalized heating plan will address them.
  • Furnace evaluation: We determine the condition and operation of your current furnace, including its burners, heat exchanger, blower motor, flue or vent pipe, filter, and supply line.
  • Additional HVAC equipment evaluation: We inspect any humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, air purifiers, and thermostats.
  • Energy audit: We identify areas of heat loss and inefficiency.

System Design and Recommendations

In this step, we create your personalized heating plan on paper. This is a blueprint tailored just for you. It illustrates a system for indoor climate optimization that addresses your home’s configuration and challenges, your preferences, and your budget. It contains recommendations for:

  • High-efficiency HVAC equipment, including a furnace, potentially an air conditioner, and any air treatment appliances.
  • Zoning configurations that deliver consistent heating based on your floor plan and occupancy.
  • Custom ductwork repairs or replacements.
  • Insulation improvements for a contractor to implement.

Proposal Review

In this step, we present our heating plan for your home and discuss it with you. Our proposal includes:

  • A detailed estimate that explains our recommended system, its components, benefits, estimated costs, and potential energy savings over the near and long term.
  • Options for alternatives and substitutions at different investment levels and price points. This gives you flexibility in your plan and ways to add to it over time instead of implementing everything at once.
  • An invitation to ask questions and request changes.

Installation and Implementation

If you accept our proposal, we bring it to life in the following order:

  • Schedule the installation: For a personalized heating plan that includes multiple appliances and HVAC upgrades (such as to ductwork), we normally need about two to three full days at your home. We schedule this with you as soon as the equipment we’ve ordered for you has arrived. We have great relationships with our suppliers, so the time between ordering and installing is rarely more than a few weeks.
  • Install the components: Our crews are prompt, clean, careful, and very experienced. We install all the elements of your personalized heating plan with a focus on keeping them, and the rest of your home, pristine.
  • Complete quality assurance: We test and adjust every aspect of your system to guarantee that each piece of equipment operates at maximum efficiency and that everything works perfectly together as part of the whole HVAC system.

Post-Installation Service and Support

We want to ensure your long-term satisfaction with your personalized heating plan. We also want to ensure its long-term operation and to safeguard your warranty. So once installation is complete, here’s what we do:

  • Show you how to operate and care for your new heating system, with special attention to any new thermostats. The thermostat is the brain of your HVAC system. It gives the orders that determine when your heat and air run, at what temperature, and for how long. Further, you can program it to anticipate and automate all aspects of climate control. Essentially, the thermostat is the primary mechanism that determines your indoor comfort and your energy costs.
  • Schedule your ongoing maintenance. Regular HVAC checkups are critical for the health of your HVAC system, the validity of your warranty, and the quality of your indoor air. For any customer who installs a personalized heating system, we offer priority service and special deals to enroll in our HVAC maintenance program.
  • Follow up with you in the days and weeks after your new heating system is up and running. If you have any questions, concerns, or other feedback, we want to hear it and take any necessary action right away.


At Kowalski Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we want to keep you and your family warm throughout the winter months. But we don’t merely want to sell you a furnace. We want to make your indoor climate comfortable, healthy, affordable, and running as much on autopilot as possible.

We’re here for you when you’re ready for a personalized heating plan, or when it’s simply time to replace an aging furnace.

If you’d like to talk to one of our experts, call or text us at 412-952-5923. You can also contact us via our website at any time. We look forward to serving you!


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