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Heating the home in winter is one of the biggest household expenses. According to the EPA, 42% of the energy we use at home is for heating. While energy costs have risen, the improved energy efficiency of today’s heating systems offset those energy prices.
There are plenty of energy-efficient home heating systems available for every budget to help you stay warmer this winter, and save you money in the process. Here’s your guide to the latest energy-efficient home heating systems.
Let’s talk efficiency strategy first
The most important component of an energy-efficient home heating system isn’t the system itself, but how well your home uses the system’s output.
Sealing leaks in the doors, windows, walls and floors should be your first priority. Insulation, caulk and weatherstripping may be necessary around windows, doors or other drafty spots. These small steps are worth the investment — they’ll save you money in the long run in lower utility bills.
Some cities will send out a free home energy auditor who can help you find potential drafts and air leaks which may cause your system to work harder to keep your home warm. Energy.gov has a helpful video explaining how to do your own home energy audit.
How to choose the most energy-efficient home heating system
Think about the following six questions before you decide on the best and most efficient heating system for your home.
What’s the climate like?
A colder climate might require a larger, highly efficient system that can heat your home appropriately while minimizing heating costs over the long winter.
A portable heater or smaller zoned system may be better in temperate climates where heating is only needed on colder days.
How much of your home or apartment do you actually need to heat?
Do you want to pay to heat an entire home or just a couple of select rooms? Choose a system with vents that can be closed or adjusted so you can choose to heat rooms you use most. A thermostat is also essential to efficiency to keep the system running only when it needs to.
The latest and most energy-efficient heating systems
We’ve broken down the latest available energy-efficient heating systems by type. Now that you have an idea of what what type of heating system is best for your home, let’s explore the options.
Energy-efficient furnaces and boilers
The latest boilers, gas furnaces and oil furnaces are ultra-efficient and green. They’re designed to easily replace your existing heater.
- Furnaces are equipped with a duct system that delivers warm air to the rooms of your choice.
- Boilers deliver hot water in homes heated with radiators, baseboard heaters or radiant floor heat.
Current models have an impressive 90 to 94 percent efficiency range, which can save you a lot of money on fuel. The XC95M Gas Furnace from Trane has an efficiency rating up to 97 percent. In fact, the savings may offset replacing your current heater if it’s more than 10 years old.