Much like air conditioning and indoor air quality, home heating is an essential consideration for any modern family with a home. It’s even more critical now, especially since the fall season is starting to bring in colder temperatures.
That being said, heating expenses can easily consume about half of an average household’s energy budget. This makes energy efficiency a fundamental goal for anyone who wants to reduce home comfort expenses.
But where to begin? Here, we’ve outlined a handy guide about efficient home heating systems and how to choose one for your home.
What Is High Efficiency?
First things first, what is a high-efficiency heating system, and why should you buy one? A high-efficiency heating system is a heating system that will only use what energy it needs to warm up your home, thus reducing cost and consumption at the same time and eventually adding up to significant savings.
How to Choose the Most Energy-Efficient Home Heating System
Now that you know why your home would benefit from an efficient heating system, consider these six questions before deciding what type of system would best suit you and your family’s needs.
What’s the Climate Like in Your Area?
If you live in an area where the temperature can drop, your home might require a more extensive and more efficient system to heat your home while minimizing costs over the winter. By contrast, hotter and more humid areas can benefit from a portable heater or a smaller zoned system.
How Much of Your Home Needs to Be Heated?
Do you want to pay to heat your entire home, or will you be fine heating only a few select rooms? If you wish for an adjustable system, then opt for one with vents that can be closed so you can choose which rooms will be heated. You can also get a thermostat to increase efficiency and keep the system running only when it needs to.
What Type of Installation Will the System Need?
Today, the two most common systems are forced-air and radiant systems. While radiant heating systems are typically far more efficient, they often cost more in upfront fees because they are complicated to install in an existing home. By contrast, a forced-air system is easier to install but is usually less efficient, leading to more long-term costs and energy usage.
How Much Space Do You Have Available for the Heating System?
Another point to consider is the amount of free space that you have available in your home. Do you live in a large single-family home, or do you have a smaller apartment? Large furnaces are not practical if you only have a small house while outdoor units like heat pumps may not be possible without an outdoor area (preferably a yard) for the unit.
What Fuel Is Available and How Much Will It Cost to Heat Your Home?
Today, the available options include electricity, propane, natural gas, and heating oil. When choosing, consider the lifetime running costs.
Can I Afford One?
Lastly, consider whether you have the initial budget to install a high-efficiency heating system. The reduced monthly costs make the initial investment worth it in the long run, but it’s also not a good idea to install one if it doesn’t fit your budget. Usually, plenty of renewable energy companies can help you decide if the system and the payback period will suit your needs and situation.
Choosing the Most Energy-Efficient Heating System
After asking yourself the previous questions, let’s now look at the options that are available today to help you to choose from the following.
In-Floor Radiant Heating Systems
This type of room heating uses pipes built into the floors to provide warmth and evenly heat rooms. While the idea may sound modern, this type of heating dates as far back as ancient Rome, and the fact that they’re still being used today should give you an idea of how effective they are. The downside is that AC systems must be separate, the heating process is relatively slow, and installation can be complex, especially if the home is already built.
Boiler Heating Systems
These are extremely popular and work by circulating hot water from a boiler unit through pipes to release heat into the house. Some of its pros include that boiler heating can be compatible with smart-control systems to make them as efficient as possible. Heating and temperature changes are also fast in this type of heating system.
One drawback is that boilers can sometimes be noisy. Furthermore, boiler heaters are significantly more expensive than other options.
Forced air systems are a popular modern option that heats (or cools) a home via a furnace and a network of air ducts and vents. These systems are generally affordable and quite efficient, and they make for a complete heating and AC solution as the system can also produce cool air.
The downside, however, is that they depend on a fully installed system within walls, floors, and ceilings, and some furnace models make a lot of noise. They can also blow particles into rooms, causing a need for filters.
Geothermal Heating Systems
Easily the most energy-efficient heating system on this list, geothermal heating systems pull heat from the ground and deliver it to the home via an electric pump. During the summer, these systems then reverse the process, helping remove heat from your home.
Geothermal systems are so efficient because they collect heat already present in the ground, removing the need to burn fossil fuel or use electric resistance heat like a space heater. Secondly, because temperatures remain much higher below the earth’s surface, it is far easier to collect heat. As such, the primary benefit of using a geothermal heating system is its tremendous lifetime efficiency.
The drawback, however, is the high cost of equipment installation, repairs, and maintenance. That being said, geothermal heat pumps pay for themselves more quickly through lower energy bills in hot and humid climates. They also work best in cold temperatures.
Mini-Split Heat Pump Systems
Mini-split, aka ductless, is an air-source system that works by drawing heat from the air and then dumping it into your home. These systems are also efficient because they use refrigerants to collect and distribute heat and use inverter technology to ensure that there is no overheating or over-cooling. Furthermore, mini-split heat pumps only require a tiny amount of electricity to run.
Tips to Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Even after buying the most energy-efficient heating system for your home, there are still a few tweaks you can do to improve indoor comfort and equipment performance. One of the best things you can do is seal your home and make it airtight. You can start by locating gaps, holes, cracks, and other openings and using caulking or other appropriate materials to seal them. Another way is by making sure there are no leaks in your ductwork, in addition to adding insulation to prevent heat loss.
Installing a modern control system, such as a programmable or smart thermostat, is also a good move. These devices give you improved options for controlling your home heating system’s operation and can improve your overall efficiency.
Need Some Professional Help?
Ready to decide on the best heating system for your home? We’re here for you! At Huft Home Services, we specialize in heating services in Sacramento, and we can help you find the system that best fits the needs of your home.
Proudly serving the local community for years now, our professional technicians are standing by, and you may reach out to us if you’d like to discuss the most efficient system for your home. We also provide cooling, plumbing, electrical, and insulation services to cater to your every need. Give us a call today!