Heating remains one of the most important uses for energy worldwide. In fact, heating energy intensities—a figure that measures how much energy is used for every square meter—have decreased each year by just 2 percent since 2010 globally.
If you care about having a sustainable home, you’re probably having difficulty deciding which home heating system is best for your dwelling. There’s so much to consider when choosing how to heat your home, from how efficient a system is to which fuel to use. Not to mention all the different kinds of heating systems available today: HVAC, boilers, heat pumps… the list goes on.
Read on for our guide to home heating and how to ensure you get the best system for your needs.
Don’t Go Too Big
In residential heating, the size of your system matters—a lot. You might think that a bigger furnace will provide more heat and reliability. However, if it’s too big for the size of your home, you’ll run up a hefty bill powering it with little to no increase in heat.
To choose the right sized system for your home, consider overall home size, how many people live there, your insulation, and the temperatures you prefer.
Take Climate Into Account
When choosing the best heating system, consider how cold your area gets.
If you live where the temperatures regularly drop below freezing in the winter, you’ll need a reliable, heavy-duty system powered by a readily available fuel source. If your winters are mild, you have more options available to you.
What’s Your Budget?
While home heaters typically don’t come cheap, like any consumable, there’s a range of prices you can buy within. You don’t always have to buy a top-of-the-line product to get a reliable heating system; those on a budget should shop online, consider gently used systems, and get quotes from at least three local contractors to get the best price.
If you’re a smart homeowner, try out some price comparison sites like FurnacePrices.ca (for Canadian residents) to easily see your favorite heating systems priced side-by-side.
Consider the Energy Source
Most types of homes in North America rely on natural gas for heating. Other fuel sources include:
- Heating oil
Not all heating systems are designed to run on all fuel types. To help you decide which system to invest in, research the most commonly available fuel in your area.
Select an Efficient System
Choosing the most efficient home heating system for your budget will save you money in the long run. Efficient systems run better and cleaner and help you keep your utility bills as low as possible.
Most governments worldwide have a system to rate the efficiency of appliances sold on the local market. For example, if you’re in America, look for systems with the ENERGY STAR label.
Finding Your Next Home Heating System
Before shopping around for a home heating system, hire a local contractor to assess your home and calculate a heating load.And by that, we mean a system that’s the right size, uses the right fuel, works well in your climate, is efficient, and comes in on or under budget.
For more helpful homeowner advice, browse the other articles on our blog.