Choosing The Right Home Heating System
Selecting the best and most effective home heating system is crucial. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct proper research and gather the necessary information before making a purchase. There are several considerations an individual needs to factor. These include the following.
The Distribution System
When it comes to the home’s heat distribution system, one can either choose the forced air or the hydronic heating systems. The forced-air heating system works by drawing warm air into the house through air ducts and registers. As the name suggests, hydronic heating systems use hot water distributed through copper or plastic piping on baseboard radiators.
The forced air also helps to heat the room and humidify the air quickly. The disadvantage with this method is that an individual requires to have ducts in place to use it. In the event of a leak, heat loss can raise the heating cost to 20-30%.
The hydronic system can be zoned so that an individual only uses them where they want to and produce less noise. They can be used to heat domestic water and have a low maintenance cost. They cannot allow central air conditioning or ventilation and usually take longer in heating rooms than the forced air system.
Fuel sources that are more energy efficient will have a better impact on the associated operating costs. Whereas the initial cost can significantly influence the choice of a heating system, the efficiency of the energy source will determine the long-term cost.
In order for an individual to determine the energy efficiency of a system, the AFUE and HSPF rating scores are used. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency used in fuel oil, propane and natural gas. Whereas HSPF means Heating Season Performance Factor used in electric heat pumps.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
The system uses underground temperature to heat the water in closed loops and release it in the home. Its efficiency is expressed as a coefficient of performance (COP). Modern geothermal heat pumps have COP ranging between 2.5 and 4. A rating of 3 COP is equivalent to a 10 HSPF. The installation of this system requires excavation and can be very expensive.
When choosing a system for home heating in Brooklyn, it is essential to take note of its size. The kind of space that a person wants to heat will determine the kind of heating system that will work best. When heating the whole house, it would be reasonable to go for a natural furnace instead of an electric heater.
It would also be more logical if a room heater is used for a single room instead of a geothermal heat pump. Zoning functionalities would come in handy when only certain areas need to be heated instead of the whole house.
The size of the heating system can also determine the choice. Selecting an oversize forced air system can lead to bursts of hot air that may be uncomfortable to bear. A small electric heater may not be effective in a large area. A plan with dimensions of the spaces that need to be heated can help come up with the ideal heating system for the home.
Location and Fuel Source
Selecting the right type of fuel can help save the utility bills associated with a heating system. The locality will also play a significant role in determining the fuel type since some fuels can be easily accessed than others. Natural gas, for instance, is common in most areas, but LP gas or propane could be a better alternative for places without readily available natural gas.
A heating system that has the capability of using more than one fuel source can come in handy. In case one fuel source is not available, users can easily switch to another source. Therefore, it is important for homeowners to consult with their preferred heating contractor to settle on a fuel source with sensible operation cost estimates.
The layout of the house and the spaces that require heating can influence the cost of the heating system. Acquisition of a heating system will be pegged on where exactly it shall heat. The more the space of heating, the more one might require a bigger system and the higher the cost.
The brand and quality of the heating system will influence the cost of the heating system.
Manufacturers with a robust warranty option have confidence in their products’ quality and may require fewer repairs and high efficiency in heating purposes. Brands with very cheap options may compromise on quality and have inefficiencies. Other factors that may influence the cost may include installation, maintenance and fuel cost.
Natural Gas Furnace/ Central Heating System
It utilizes natural gas but can run on electricity and propane. According to AFUE ratings, natural gas, propane and oil furnace have efficiencies ranging between 78 and 96%. Propane and natural gas have the highest efficiencies of about 90 to 96%.
Natural gas has a high AFUE rating with only 6% used in combustion while 94% is directed to heating the house. The advantage of these energy sources is that they vent combustion gases to the side walls adding more warmth to the home.
Most of the furnaces have AFUE ratings of 60% and above, with a life expectancy of 15-30 years depending on care and maintenance. It is advisable to replace a unit with less than 80% AFUE rating to save on utility bills and stay warmer.
As the name suggests, they operate by heating water, not necessarily to boiling point and commonly use oil or natural gas. They can also use electricity, propane and biodiesels. These systems heat and store water, therefore, could provide hot water for domestic purposes. The average AFUE rating is about 80% for the new models, while ancient boilers have 55-65% AFUEs.
Electric Space Heaters
They use electricity to heat the room by converting electric current into heat. The heat is then distributed into the room. The heaters work very fast and reverse the refrigerant cycle in heating. Despite their efficiency, it is advisable to acquire a model with a 9 HSPF rating or higher to save on the energy cost.