If you’ve had your home heating system for longer than fifteen years and it’s emitting strange sounds, using an increasing amount of energy, requires you to make frequent repairs, irregularly cycles on and off, and doesn’t supply your home with the adequate amount of warmth you need it may be time to get a new one.
However, because there are a myriad of different heating systems perhaps you should consider switching over to a new type of HVAC system. Here are some potential choices for the proper, energy efficient heating of your home.
For energy efficient homes concerned with energy usage, boilers have increased in AFUE up to 25% since 1992 according to Green Riverside. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, which is the measurement of a heating system’s ability to create energy from fuel. As of 1992, boilers are required to have an AFUE rating of 80%.
This is a marvelous improvement that, with their low utilization of electricity for its circulating pumps and indirect heating of water, makes boilers one of the best options for home heating systems. However, something to keep in mind if you choose to install a boiler in your home is to install an indirect water tank, connected to the boiler with a water heating coil, rather than a storage water heater; a space heating boiler doesn’t store water and heat water at the same time.
For those considering furnace installation, keep in mind there are three different kinds of furnace.
- A high efficiency furnace is a good choice for those households which may be larger or in chillier climates. These types of furnaces have a fuel efficiency up to 96% and utilize as much heat as possible with the use of not one heat exchanger, but two. Lost heat takes the form of water vapor, which the furnace then condenses to be reused.
- A mid-efficiency furnace gives you more control over air ventilation and combustion. With a fuel efficiency of 83%, a mid-efficiency furnace will create more heat from its fuel source with the use of high-static burners.
- A minimum efficiency furnace has about as much fuel efficiency as a boiler and although it may not utilize heat as much as as a high-efficiency furnace (internal vent dampers keep the furnace from losing heat rather than condensing lost heat to reuse it), it’s still a cost-effective choice of heating system if your climate isn’t especially cold.
Electric heat pumps
Electric heat pumps, like furnaces, come in different forms, but ultimately act as a reverse air conditioner. Geothermal heat pumps utilize heat from underground water, which is condensed and concentrated through ground source heat pumps before being released in your household as warm air. And, for homes without a duct system, there are ductless heat pumps which can act as both heating systems and air conditioners by expanding and compressing the refrigerant in the pump utilizing outside air much in the same way as forced air conditioners.
Whichever type of heating system you use, be sure to keep up with your furnace, boiler, or heat pump maintenance and to routinely check for any needed repairs in order to ensure the safety and comfort of your home and family.