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Heating your home is an essential must-have, especially during those colder months. Although Georgia is known for its hot weather, winter can see temperatures drop to 20 degrees or lower. When this happens, you’ll want a reliable and well-maintained heating system.
Unfortunately, the more you use your heating system, the higher your energy bills rise. For example, it’s not unusual for a homeowner’s heating bill to account for half of their energy usage.
These extra costs can prompt homeowners to find alternative, more efficient heating systems. Additionally, even with the proper maintenance, your typical furnace generally lasts only 15 to 20 years.
Today, homeowners have access to some of the most efficient heating systems that can drastically slash their energy bills while increasing comfort. However, with so many options available, finding the right one for your needs is no easy task.
We’ll explore some of the most efficient heating systems you can choose and how furnace repair services in Richmond Hill, GA, can help!
The Most Energy-Efficient Furnaces You Can Choose
Furnaces are perhaps the most common heating systems residents use, with some estimates placing furnaces at being in 60% of American homes. Older furnaces typically get a bad rep for not being energy-efficient, but furnaces have significantly evolved in the past couple of decades.
Modern furnace models feature robust technology to boost efficiency to advanced levels. The best way to find a furnace’s efficiency level is by checking its AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency).
This rating showcases how much energy a furnace uses and how much energy it wastes. For example, a furnace featuring an AFUE rating of 75% means it’ll convert 75% of its energy into heat while 25% gets lost due to leakage or exhaust.
Naturally, the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the device. So now, let’s explore three specific types of furnaces you can purchase:
Gas furnaces utilize natural gas, an energy source readily available. Across the board, most furnace-heated homes use natural gas that regional utility companies supply. Gas is available through a supply pipe running through a house.
Although sometimes gas isn’t readily available in remote areas, natural gas itself is a reasonably cheap and convenient resource. These two factors can make gas furnaces more efficient than other heating units.
An oil furnace burns oil to fuel its operations. Like with gas furnaces, a local supplier typically brings this oil, and homeowners will store it in a tank near their property. Homeowners must monitor their oil supply closely to ensure it doesn’t run out.
Instead of oil, some homeowners may use propane instead. While newer models are highly efficient compared to their predecessors, oil and propane furnaces, overall, remain less efficient than gas furnaces.
Electrical furnaces use electricity to heat their coils, warming your home. One significant advantage of an electric furnace is that it doesn’t require a fuel source like gas, oil, or propane. This exclusion means an electric furnace won’t produce carbon monoxide or other exhaust gas, which can pose an immediate threat to your home. This lacking threat is enough for many homeowners to choose an electric furnace.
However, electric furnaces are typically more expensive to operate, even if you’re not buying a fuel source like gas or propane.
The Best Energy-Efficient Heat Pumps
When buying the most energy-efficient heating system, heat pumps stand tall against the competition. Despite their name, heat pumps actually handle both cooling and heating.
For cooling, heat pumps trap heat from inside your home and circulate it outside. For heating, these pumps capture heat from outside during the cold months and distribute it throughout your home.
Heat pumps are highly efficient, with many models producing four times as much electrical energy as they consume. They also work wonders in environments that see moderate climates.
Alongside being energy-efficient for a homeowner, heat pumps are also easy on the environment. They use less electricity than an electric furnace and don’t burn fossil fuels, meaning you won’t have to worry about harmful gases.
There are two main types of heat pumps: an air-source heat pump and a geothermal heat pump.
Air-source Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps will capture heat and release it inside your home during winter.
When cooling, an air-source heat pump acts as a heat exchanger using refrigerant to extract the air’s heat. This process occurs around its air handler or an evaporator coil, and it will transfer heat outside.
Additionally, the heat pump can extract from extremely cold outdoor air, but efficiency starts dropping off below 32 degrees.
The heating process involves circulating liquid refrigerant between the outdoor and indoor heat pump’s units. During this process, refrigerant transforms from liquid and gas and vice-versa.
Transformed gas transfers throughout your home, compresses into a liquid, and releases heat.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps operate similarly to air-source heat pumps but use either soil surrounding your home or a nearby body of water. The soil or body of water is the source for capturing and releasing heat. They are one of the most efficient heating systems available today.
Setting up a geothermal heat pump involves burying various pipes underneath a surface known as a loop. This process involves either a vertical, deep loop system or becoming submerged inside a water source.
Temperatures can remain consistently between 45 to 60 degrees annually. A geothermal heat pump either circulates refrigerant or water throughout its pipes to extract or release heat.
Geothermal systems are generally considered the most efficient heating system available—many homeowners can see their bills slashed up to 70% by using this system! They’re also straightforward, safe, and feature the best environmental friendliness.
However, the main drawback is that geothermal systems require a much higher upfront installation cost. This high installation cost is because the process involves digging trenches and holes inside your yard to place the ground looping setup.
However, many users recoup this cost through energy savings within five years. They also last longer than conventional heating systems like furnaces (20 to 25 years compared to 15 to 20 years).
Lastly, sometimes you can receive state and federal credits for using a geothermal heat pump.
Other Ways You Can Boost Energy-efficiency
It can be tempting to buy the most efficient heating system with the most expensive price tag. However, many homeowners make the mistake of spending a lot of money on a heat pump or furnace while ignoring other crucial energy-boosting elements.
It’s always better to stay within your budget and find a heating system that is best for your home’s needs. Additionally, there are many other ways to boost your HVAC system’s efficiency:
Check Your Ductwork
Leaks inside your ductwork can quickly translate into enormous heat, money, and energy losses. Ensure your ductwork is tightly secured and no damage exists. You can seal connections using mastic, metal screws, or metal-backed tape.
Insulated ducts also prevent heat or energy from seeping out of the ductwork’s material.
Overall Sealing and Tightness
Any openings, like holes, gaps, cracks, leaks, etc., can cause cold or warm air to escape quickly. Common areas include:
- Around windows and doors
- Where your home’s frame links to your attic or foundation
- Where wires or pipes enter your walls
Materials such as caulking can eliminate these openings, or you can invest in energy-efficient windows.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Another way to boost your energy efficiency is by investing in a Smart or programmable thermostat. A thermostat tells your heating and cooling system how hot or cool your home should be. Unfortunately, a manual thermostat presents a few issues.
The main problem with a manual thermostat is that a homeowner must constantly adjust the temperature themselves. Besides taking time and effort, it’s easy to forget to adjust your thermostat before going out.
Even if you do manage to remember to turn off your heating system before going to work, when you come back, it’ll take a long time for your home to get warmed up or cold.
With a Smart Wi-Fi thermostat, you can control temperatures remotely, whether in the other room or halfway across the world. Additionally, a Smart thermostat can learn your heating and cooling patterns, translating into better comfort and higher savings.
Find the Most Energy-Efficient Heating System with Georgia Air Cooling & Heating
Today, various heating options exist on the market, and finding the most efficient heating system can take time and effort. Your goal should be to choose a system that fulfills your home’s needs while fitting your budget.
At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, we provide comprehensive services throughout Richmond Hill, Savannah, Rincon, Pooler, and other areas. We can help you find the most efficient heating system and install it at a price that fits within your budget.