There are many different types of systems that can be used to heat homes. They range from furnaces to broilers to ceiling fans. While some are more applicable to different climates than others, choosing the right-sized system for your home with an energy efficiency label is important for saving on energy usage and costs.
When considering replacing your heating system, make sure you choose the right size and type of system for your home and climate. Furnaces are the most common means of heating homes in the United States, but broilers and heat pumps (both electric air-source and geothermal) are also used.
Furnaces burn fossil fuels to heat the air, which is then pushed through ducts to warm your home.
Heat pumps use technology similar to a refrigerator to heat (and cool) your home. They use pumps to move the tempered air from 1 space to another in the home. They can be powered by electricity or natural gas and can use air, water, or the ground as the source of heat. Regardless of the means of driving the system, heat pumps pollute. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved some models as Energy Star.
In addition, the excess heat from these systems can be used for water heating, making them more energy sustainable. Heat pumps differ from refrigerators in that they can switch back and forth between heating and cooling the air, so they can be used as both a heating and cooling system.
Boilers typically are more energy efficient in the coldest of climates. They work to transfer heat produced by burning fossil fuels to water, which heats the home through radiators or baseboards. Although broilers pollute due to the fossil fuels used to run the system, highly efficient heating systems produce much less air pollution than standard appliances.
Unbeknownst to many, ceiling fans don’t just work to cool your home, they also help warm rooms in the winter (you want the blades to rotate clockwise in the winter). Most ceiling fans have a reverse switch that pulls air up, pushing the warmer air just below the ceiling down throughout the rest of the room. This heat circulation helps improve energy efficiency.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency
The advantages of energy efficient heating systems include:
- Increased Product Quality
- Increased Resale Value
- Increased Safety
- Lowered Utility Bills
Not only are energy efficient systems pertinent for reducing energy loss, but supplementing them with additional appliances, like ceiling fans, and properly insulating your home will maximize the benefits of the energy saving appliances.