If you’re a homeowner, there’s a decent chance you haven’t been happy with your home heating bills. Energy costs have been rising, and homeowners and renters have both been scrambling to come up with cost-efficient answers.
Fortunately, there are plenty out there, and at 128 Plumbing we’re familiar with all of them. We can tell you which ones are best, and more importantly, we can tell you which ones are right for you.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most efficient ways to heat your home.
The Importance of Efficient Heating
There’s more than one way to heat your house, but the point is to do it without paying an arm and a leg. That means getting the most efficient heating source and adapting it to your space and your budget.
One of the most important benefits of efficient heating is reliability. Heating systems based on older or antiquated heating technology come with high maintenance costs, and that includes expensive repairs.
How to Define Energy Efficient?
There are several ways to define energy efficiency when it comes to your home. The definition process starts with knowing the age of the heating system that provides comfort for your house.
- Expected life and efficiency decline. As a general rule, home heating systems have an expected life of 15-20 years, and the efficiency typically declines by 5 percent each year.
- AFUE number. Another number you can use is the AFUE, which stands for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This is basically a percentage that measures how efficiently your home heating system can convert fuel into energy. You should shoot for an AFUE number of at least 80 percent as a bare minimum. In Massachusetts, given the winters, a percentage number in the 90s can save you a lot of money.
The Benefits of Energy Efficiency
There are several benefits that come with energy efficient home heating:
- Lower cost: Efficiency either keeps money in your pocket or puts it back. It’s that simple.
- Reliability: No one wants to have to depend on a balky home heating system and deal with costly repairs, and an energy-efficient heating system for your house can eliminate that possibility.
- Comfort: A warm home is a comfortable home, especially when a high energy-efficiency number allows you to count on that comfort every single day.
- Convenience: We all have busy schedules, and breakdowns and repairs can be disruptive. An efficient heating system allows you to simply live with your life without having to account for repair time.
The Different Sources of Home Heat
Here are the most common heat sources for your house:
- Electric heat
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Air source heat pumps
- Mini splits, both ductless and integrated
- Hybrid HVAC system
Heat Pumps as an Efficient Heating Source
Heat pumps are currently being publicized as one of the most efficient ways to heat your house, and there are federal and state rebate programs that make them even more efficient by further cutting your home energy costs.
The efficiency numbers are off the chart. Heat pumps can heat your house with an efficiency rating that’s well over 100 percent, and in some cases that efficiency can be as high as 300 percent.
Geothermal Heat vs Air Source Heat
In geothermal heating, a heat pump is used to draw air from beneath the earth, then heat it to whatever temperature you set.
An air source heat pump, meanwhile, will draw from the air around your home, eliminate the cooler temperatures using a heat exchanger, then further heat that air to the desired temperature.
Both ways of heating your home are energy efficient, so much of the decision about which one to go with depends on your situation.
If you have easy access to a geothermal source, the money savings may be greater, but air source heat has obvious advantages when it comes to availability.
Is Gas Furnace Heat Efficient?
The efficiency of gas furnace heat depends on the heating efficiency of the furnace itself. If the AFUE number for the furnace is in the 90s, then yes, this kind of heating is very efficient.
That efficiency goes down some, though, if the percentage number is in the 80s. And if your natural gas furnace system is older, you may be losing out on the efficiency you could be benefitting from with a newer system.
Choosing the Right Heating System for Your Home
Given the number of possible home heating systems that can keep your house comfortable with a high efficiency rating, it’s important to evaluate your needs.
Here’s what you need to take into account:
- Your space: How big is your home when it comes to the square footage? Are the ceilings high? How old is the home, and how well insulated is it? All of these things will play into the choices you make.
- Evaluate your existing heating system: Is Your Existing Heat System Adequate? What kind of heating system do you currently have? How old is it? Are you happy with the performance of your home heating system and the level of comfort it provides? Are you looking to upgrade and future proof your home heating system?
- Make sure you check off all of the boxes when it comes to answering these questions as you make your choices.
- Budget: What are your monthly heating bills? Are you on a tight budget, or can you afford an upgrade to give you more comfort? Can you afford the outlay for something like a heat pump system, knowing that will pay off in savings down the line?
Get a Home Heating Evaluation from 128 Plumbing for Efficient Heating
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into energy efficiency when it comes to heating your house. At 128 Plumbing, we can help you keep your home warm and comfortable, and we can also help you make the host home heating decisions that will fit your budget.
The process starts with a phone call. The numbers are (888) 419-4233 or (781) 670-3261.
We’ll answer your questions and guide you through the process, and we can also schedule you for a home heating efficiency visit to evaluate your current system and give you an idea of what your best options are going forward.
Contact 128 Plumbing Today!
To get even more information, you can also go to 128Plumbing.com and start a live chat, and we have some great blogs and articles there to help educate you about home heating efficiency and tell you everything you need to know.