Winter is in full swing in Virginia, let’s talk about home heating.
The steps to saving energy are often small and incremental. Reducing your home’s energy use for heating can save you money, improve health, and even increase your home’s comfort.
According to the Department of Energy, heating is the biggest home energy cost, and is around 45% of our total energy consumption.
Reducing the energy used for home heating is the single most effective way to save household money.
To keep the air healthy, indoor temperatures in the winter should range between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels 30-60%.
How can we reduce our heating bills while effectively maintaining health and comfort?
We have two options: repair or replace the HVAC.
There are three aspects to any heating system that can be fixed or changed out: source, distribution, or controls. It is important to focus on the big picture. Don’t simply swap out that old furnace (source) without sealing your ductwork (distribution), or you will just keep sending expensive heat into the crawlspace through all the duct leaks (dollars).
Also, make sure your installer calculates the size of the system properly, so that the output matches the heat loss of your home. An oversized heating system does not optimize efficiency, and if undersized you will not stay comfortable.
A significant energy reducing step can be found by utilizing Heat Pump technology. A heat pump works just like a refrigerator, but in reverse. An air-source heat pump can deliver 1.5 to 3 times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. This is possible because a heat pump moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel. Air-source heat pumps are ideal for our climate.
A heat pump is a good choice when replacing your existing ducted furnace. Or if your current system does not have ducts, such as baseboards or wood heat, a ductless mini-split heat pump provides a very efficient alternative or addition.
While heat pumps are a significant investment, in many cases rebates help offset the cost.
Keep in mind that many heating systems require regular servicing in order to maintain maximum efficiency.
However you choose to improve upon your current heating system, remember you will be living more comfortably and consuming less energy; contact Central Plumbing and Heating.