When surviving the unpredictable winters that plague Manassas and the surrounding Virginia region, our furnaces are put through the works with days the coast into the 50s and drop well below freezing. You’re definitely going to want to have the most efficient settings for your heater ready to go to save on heating costs while keeping your house warm throughout the winter. Rising heating costs and soak up half of the home budget, meaning efficiency is key. Here are some high-efficiency, low-cost options to keep your home comfortable this winter.
Why High-Efficiency Heating Systems?
The biggest reason you should be considering high-efficiency heating systems? Simple – the long-term cost savings. With the potential to cut heating costs by nearly half, the investment in high-energy system really does pay off. Some high-efficiency systems have cut home heating costs down by a staggering 70%.
When factoring efficiency, you must factor in the correct size to account for the home’s heating needs. A systems “size” is its functional capacity to create heat adequate for the target space. Your HVAC contractor can conduct a heating load calculation to tell you if your system matches your heating requirements.
Finding the Right Heat Pumps for Energy Efficiency
Unless you enjoy reading up on HVAC terminology, you may not know what a heat pump is, but when it comes to efficiency in the home, the heat pump is the prime candidate. According to Dictionary.com, a heat pump is a device that transfers heat from a colder area to a hotter area by using mechanical energy, as in a refrigerator. Heat pumps are insanely efficient sometimes bringing in four times the electricity that goes into it.
Heat pumps are also awesome for the mild winters we sometimes experience here in the Virginia suburbs. Along with being easy on the environment, the configuration of heat pump uses less energy while still providing large amounts of heating, and since they don’t burn substance to generate heat, they produce no harmful gases. This also means they don’t generate dangerous carbon monoxide, a potential danger in every homeowner’s mind.
Air Source Heat Pumps
When considering heat pumps for home efficiency, it’s important to note the types which include two main types of heat pumps – air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps. “Air-source heat pumps capture heat from and release heat into the air surrounding the equipment. When cooling, the systems use the heat-exchange properties of refrigerant to remove heat from the air around the indoor air handler/evaporator coil and transfer it outside, where it’s released into the outdoor air.“
Liquid refrigerant is circulated between the outdoor and indoor units of each heat pump changing the state of the liquid to gas and back to liquid again. Here’s where the magic happens – once the refrigerant enters its gaseous state, it absorbs the surrounding heat and travels into your home where it converts back to a liquid and releases the heat into your home. Viola – you’re living in an energy efficient, warm home.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pump works very similarly to air source pumps, but rather than the air, they use the soil under your home or a nearby water source. Initially, geothermal heating equipment can be associated with a higher price tag, but you’ll be glad you forked out the big bucks when your heating bills drop by up to 70%. Geothermal equipment called loops are buried below the home deep in the soil that hovers in the 50 – 60-degree ranges gathering and release heat to and from the home. Geothermal provides the most in energy efficient heating and typically cover their initial investment costs after about 5 years through energy savings.