If you’re looking for the most efficient home heating system, here’s an update on the choices available. When looking for the most efficient way to heat a home, consider the main types below. While you’re at it, you might also consider an HVAC protection plan.
Home heating systems have three main components. The heat source provides warmth; commonly a furnace, boiler or heat pump. The second part moves that warm air around your home, usually through ducts or radiators. Last is the control system that lets you set a temperature. Before we talk about how to heat your home more efficiently and the best heating system for a house, here are the most common types of home heating systems:
Boilers burn fuel to heat water or create steam that is then circulated through radiators or radiant heat floor pipes. If you suffer from allergies, they offer the benefit of being cleaner because they do not blow allergens and dust through your home.
The idea of a boiler is simple, but you have many choices in terms of the type of fuel used and the way the boiler works.
Many homeowners find that boilers are extremely efficient. You will want to evaluate the size you need, as an undersized unit will be less efficient. The US Department of Energy has good advice on selecting a boiler. Though they may not be the most efficient home heating system, innovations are making boilers more competitive. In terms of comfort, they can be the best heating system for a house.
Instead of burning fossil fuels, heat pumps use electricity to pull heat out of cold outside air and transfer it into your home. In summer, the process is reversed.
Heat pumps are one of the newer home heating options. first commercially used in the 1950s. They have been gaining in popularity ever since.
Furnaces are a common way to generate heat in homes. They take in cold air, heat it, and then use a blower to force it through ducts and into all the rooms in your home.
Furnaces are generally alike in how they heat your home, but vary by the fuel they use. A furnace may be the most efficient home heating system option, depending on the types of power available in your area.
The efficiency of these units depends on their size, construction and features. A well-insulated unit, for example, will lose less heat to the air around it, meaning more heat can be forced through your ducts. For natural gas and propane, a pilot light burns all the time, consuming energy. Electric units don’t need to vent waste gasses, keeping more heat energy in the system. In general, furnaces are second to heat pumps as the most efficient home heating system.
Heat pumps are the most efficient home heating system. Their main drawback is that they do not function particularly well in temperature extremes. In very cold weather, you may need space heaters around your home, lowering efficiency. Innovations in furnaces and boilers make them competitive with heat pumps when it comes to energy efficiency. If a boiler keeps your home warm enough that you don’t need space heaters, it may be the more efficient choice when it comes to average home power usage.
Energy efficiency is one factor to consider when choosing among different types of home heating systems. If you are thinking about upgrading your heating system as one of your winter home improvements to help save energy, the best home heating system for your house may also depend on:
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