Heating system efficiency is often overlooked by homeowners. That often comes with a price, literally. As Champaign, IL, enters the cold season and temperatures begin to drop below freezing, heating systems are expected to run around the clock in order to maintain comfortable indoor climates. If your home is powered by an older inefficient heating system, you’re in for one cold and costly winter.
To help you get a better understanding of what heating system best saves you money while also offering high heating capacity, below are five options to consider.
Ground-Source Heat Pump
A ground-source pump, also commonly referred to as a geothermal pump, is a heating system that uses the consistent temperatures from the land underneath the house or an adjacent water source. A series of pipes, called a loop, is dug several feet under the ground. The loop captures the heat and distributes it throughout your home.
While ground-source pumps are more efficient than air-source pumps, the relatively high investment needed to install a ground-source pump is a common barrier to entry for most homeowners. If you plan on living on the property for the long term, a ground-source pump makes financial sense. Through federal tax credits and lower utility bills, you can easily recoup your initial investment by opting for this particular heating system.
Air-Source Heat Pump
An air-source pump uses air collected from outside to heat the inside of your house during cold months and vice versa during summertime. Air-source pumps are relatively cheaper and easier to install. Depending on your location, the viability of a ground-source pump may change, and some homeowners are left with air-source pumps as their only option.
Air-source pumps are installed much like a central air conditioner. Compared to outdated heating solutions, like gas and wood fireplaces and pellet stoves, air-source pumps come as a more efficient and safer alternative. Since the system does not burn fossil fuels, they do not emit toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, while running.
Electricity-powered units are one of the three main types of furnaces available to homeowners. This type of furnace uses electricity to activate the heating coils that are responsible for producing heat. Since electric furnaces do not burn natural gas or oil, these units do not leave traces of exhaust chemicals that can potentially cause life-threatening illnesses following prolonged exposure.
Perhaps the main drawback of electric furnaces is cost. They are more expensive to run than gas-powered furnaces since electricity costs more in most parts of Illinois. Furthermore, their heating efficiency can never exceed 100%.
As with furnaces, boilers are also graded by AFUE scores. Today’s boilers are designed to operate with up to 90% efficiency, some even higher. Condensing boilers, for instance, can reach up to 95% efficiency, thanks to a second heat exchanger that allows them to capture hot air from the exhaust gases before they are expelled to the outside via the vents. This minimizes the amount of heat lost to ventilation and exhaust leaks.
If your home came with a boiler and radiant floor already installed, it makes practical sense to just replace the boiler with a newer model that’s equipped with new energy and cost-saving features, like smart controls and weather compensation.
There are many other heating system alternatives available for those who need more than a few options. These include direct heat gas-operated space heaters, fireplaces, and ductless mini-split heat pumps. Keep in mind that these alternatives are less efficient compared to the first four mentioned above. Nonetheless, it’s good to know about them in case you are limited by your budget, heating needs, or structural limitations.
Getting a heating system is a major financial investment. Heaters can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000, depending on the system size and capacity you need. At the very least, understanding each type of heating system and its given pros and cons is key to making an informed consumer decision.
If you want to make the best possible decision and you live around Champaign-Urbana or in a surrounding neighborhood, Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. can help you shop for the right heating system that matches your budget and air conditioning requirements. Even better, we can install your heating system to make sure it functions efficiently over time. Our technicians are insured, bonded, and have years of experience under their belt, so you know you’re getting only the best recommendations and HVAC service possible. We also maintain, install, and service air conditioning units. Give us a call today for all of your heating and cooling needs!