There is no shortage of products in the market today. Anything that you are looking for will have numerous options and variants. That being the root of all trouble because one tends to get confused and frustrated and lands up buying whatever looks good. Heating units are no different. With continuously evolving technology, so many options are now available that the choice becomes difficult. Nonetheless, for any homeowner, what is important is energy efficiency because, in the end, you have to pay the utility bills. A wrong choice will make your bills skyrocket.
Energy Efficiency First
If the truth be told, how well your home utilizes the output from the heating unit is more important than the unit itself. Let me take a moment to explain this fact. If the insulation inside the home is not proper, and gaps and cracks are imminent, it will be impossible to maintain a warm climate inside.
Prior to purchasing any heating system, seal your door, windows, floors, as well as the walls. You may need to make use of caulking and weather stripping in addition to insulation for a thorough job. In some cities, there are home energy auditors who can be of much help to you. These auditors are experts in identifying areas of your home, which is affected by air leakage or air drafts. These seemingly small steps go a long way in increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
Choosing The Best Heating Unit For Energy Efficiency
Here is a list of things to consider which will cut to the chase and make your job easy.
1. How’s The Climate – A large and highly efficient heating unit is needed if you stay in an extremely cold climate. On the other hand, in a temperate climate, you can even make do with a portable heater or a heating unit meant for a small area.
2. Area Of Home In Actual Use – If you have a big home, in which most of the rooms remain closed, you should choose a heating unit wherein open and close the heating vents as per choice. Essentially, what you need is an independent AC thermostat for each level of your home. It will allow you to switch on the heating only when needed.
3. Space Available For Installing Heating System – In a small home, space is limited, so installing a big furnace may not be possible. Similarly, in an apartment, the lack of a yard will give rise to the problem of installing the outdoor unit like a heat pump.
4. Availability And Cost Of Fuel – Electricity, natural gas, propane, wood, and heating oil are the common fule options. However, each has a separate price tag attached to it. Hence, you need to take into account the lifetime cost of running to make the correct decision.
5. Renewable Energy Heating Unit – Heating units that run on renewable energy may be highly-priced, but they have a lot many rebates and attached incentives. Your monthly utility bills will fall drastically, and the value of your home will increase dramatically.
The Best Heating Units For Energy Efficiency
1. Furnace & Boilers – With the newer models having an energy efficiency of 90% to 94%, these are supremely efficient. Furnaces and boilers are powered by some sort of fuel, and usually, that is natural gas, electricity, or fuel oil. A furnace will have its own duct system to blow warm air into your home, and the boiler will deliver hot water to your radiators and taps.
2. Heat Pumps – Today, heat pumps are one of the best options for heating homes as they don’t use any fossil fuel at all. These are of three types –
- Air Source – This type of heat pump draws out and captures the natural heat present in the air outside, concentrates it, and distributes it evenly inside the house through a network of ducts.
- Ground source – This type of heat pump works by drawing out the heat from the earth. It does so through pipes that are buried around 6 to 8 feet under the ground.
They trap the heat from the air or ground outside the home and distribute it inside. The heat pumps can give you cost savings of almost 50% in the form of reduced utility bills. In fact, they are known to dehumidify even better than the central air conditioners. The most commonly used type of heat pump is the air source. It is primarily because they are cheaper and easier to install than the ground source ones.
Solar Heating Systems – The most environment-friendly way to heat your home is using the sun’s abundant and free energy. The only requirement is that you should be living in a place that gets sunlight. So it’s not suitable for places with cold and cloudy winters. There are two types of solar heating systems –
- Solar Hot Air Heating – If you live in a temperate climate, this is the best secondary heat source that is not only effective but also energy efficient. Based on the certification that accompanies this system, you can get a federal rebate of up to 30%. With tremendous savings in monthly bills, it sure is an answer to all your prayers.
- Solar Thermal Heating – This system is not all that popular mainly because it is expensive and creates a lot of hot water, which, if not used, will get wasted. However, if you already have a forced-air and radiant floor baseboard system for hot water, it is the perfect way to upgrade.
Investing in a good heating unit is a must for every homeowner. Come winters, and you will realize precisely how important it is. Keeping your budget, home requirements, and fuel limitations in mind, you can make the best choice. All the information given above will not make you feel unknowledgeable anymore, and your dependency on others to make the decision for you will decrease. However, it is good to discuss your final choice with your HVAC partner and take their feedback on the same. If you have any queries, you can contact us anytime at Aztil AC.