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The Most Environmentally Friendly Heating Systems
According to Natural Resources Canada, heating accounts for around 62% of the energy usage in the average home. That’s a massive amount of energy consumption that can be reduced with a little research, and a few changes to how you heat your home.
The three most popular methods for heating homes in Canada include:
- Furnaces – New furnaces have typical efficiencies that range from 78% to 96% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). As the most viable, environmentally friendly way to heat your home, a furnaces forced-air system can be run on oil or gas, with oil using the least amount of energy.
- Heat pumps – A geothermal heat pump uses 45% less energy than its air-source counterpart. It utilizes the earth, ground water or both as a source of heat. Ground source heat pumps are also known as an earth-energy system or EES.
- Boilers – Can be fueled by oil or gas, with the latter using 10% less energy. Boilers are useful for not only space heating, but providing hot water, heating your pool and de-icing your driveway. A boiler distributes heat throughout your home using radiators or in-floor radiant heating. New boiler technology has enhanced combustion, so newer boilers use less fuel, reduce drafts and increase safety.
If installing any new heating device in your home, make sure it has an ENERGY STAR tag on it. This shows that it demonstrates a superior level of energy efficient performance.
Another important factor in keeping your home heating energy efficient is knowing what would work best for the size of your space. Bigger isn’t always better, and this is especially apparent when it comes to heating, as this can lead to lost heat and increased heating bills.
It’s important to understand a few things about your heating system, or that of a new home you may be looking to purchase. Find out the answers to these questions before making any decisions:
- What type of dwelling do you live in? What is it constructed of?
- Is the space for you or will you be renting it? And if is being rented, who is paying the heating bills?
- How old is the home?
- What is the average winter like where you live?
- What type of thermostat are you using?
Upon answering these questions, you will have a better understanding of what heating system will work best to help the environment and your wallet.
Hourly vs Monthly Calculation
There are some great tools you can use to find out how much heat you’re using on an hourly, daily or even monthly basis. This can really help maintain environmentally friendly home heating.
The Ontario Energy Board serves a few different roles. They assist consumers and companies to ensure they’re getting the most out of their energy consumption. They offer a free bill calculator to help you see where energy is being lost or could be better managed.
Technology has advanced to where we can now calculate the most efficient and economical way to heat each individual room in your home.
All these tools are available to help you get the best out of your heating system. Make sure you utilize them to help keep your home as energy efficient as possible, while not allowing money to sneak through the cracks.