What’s the Best Heating System for Your Home?
The cold climate in Canada means that heating system accounts for over 60% of the energy used in a typical Canadian household. Choosing the best heating system for your home necessitates that this new heating system has to be able to reduce your household energy expense and at the same time giving you and your family comfort during the cold Canadian days.
According to Natural Resources Canada, heating accounts for 63% of the energy used in the average Canadian home, followed by water heating (19%), appliances (12%), lighting (4%) and space cooling (1%).
Here are the pros and cons of the different types of heating systems:
Furnace – a type of heating system that heats air and uses a blower motor and air ducts to distribute warm air throughout the house – is powered by natural gas, propane, heating oil or electricity.
Furnace’s advantage is that it’s inexpensive. Its con is that some blower fans can be loud, especially in older models.
Boiler – a type of heating system that heats water to generate steam or hot water for heating that’s then distributed via a series of pipes – is powered by natural gas, propane, heating oil, biodiesel blends or electricity.
Boiler’s advantage is that it’s easy to heat only the rooms that are being used. Its con is that it’s expensive to install and needs a minimum temperature to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Heat Pump – a type of heating system that gets heat from the surrounding air for heating – is powered by electricity or geothermal energy.
Heat Pump’s advantage is that it can both provide cooling and heating. Its con is that some types can be expensive to install.
Active Solar Heating
Active Solar Heating – a type of heating system that makes use of the sun to heat air or liquid in a solar collector to immediately warm the house or store it for future use – is powered by solar energy.
Active Solar Heating’s advantage is that it can reduce fuel bills. Its con is that it requires a second heating source, which in effect makes the initial purchase more costly.
Electric Heating – a type of heating system that makes use of electricity and converts it into heat – is powered by electricity.
Electric Heating’s relative advantage is that it’s inexpensive. Its con, however, is that it’s more expensive compared to a heating system that uses combustion.
Falling under this type of heating system are wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces. As the name suggests, this type of heating equipment is powered by wood.
Wood-Burning Appliance is good for ambiance. There’s, however, a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. As such, carbon monoxide detector is necessary.
Fuel Source of the Heating System
As mentioned, different types of heating systems use different sources of fuel. The availability of natural gas, electricity, wood, propane, heating oil, biodiesel blends, geothermal energy and energy solar energy in your locality has to be factored in deciding what heating system to choose. Aside from the availability of any of these fuel sources, the cost of these fuel sources needs to be considered as well in choosing a particular type of home heating.
Another factor to be considered in choosing the best heating system for your home is to look for an ENERGY STAR certified heating equipment.
ENERGY STAR in Canada is a voluntary partnership between the industry that promotes energy efficiency and the Government of Canada. In Canada, the ENERGY STAR name and symbol are promoted and administered by the Natural Resources Canada.
“ENERGY STAR is helping Canadians save money on energy bills, increasing the competitiveness of our commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors, and helping us fight climate change,” Natural Resources Canada said. “Simply by looking for the ENERGY STAR symbol, Canadians can easily identify energy efficient products, new homes, and industrial facilities.”
According to the Natural Resources Canada, ENERGY STAR certified products meet the strict technical specifications for energy performance. The department said ENERGY STAR certified products save energy, save you money and reduce the impact on the environment without compromising performance in any way. A typical ENERGY STAR certified product is in the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance.
Another important aspect to be considered when buying a heating appliance is to see to it that the heating system can be integrated to a thermostat – a device that automatically controls the temperature of a heating system at a constant level or within a specified range. According to Energy.gov, installing a thermostat can save an estimated 10% a year on heating.
When choosing the best heating appliance, consider the Lennox gas furnace, specifically model EL296E. When this model is paired with a Lennox electric heat pump, you’ll create a dual-fuel heating system. The heat pump will warm your home on milder days and on colder days, the gas furnace will warm your home. Switching back and forth between gas and electricity when necessary is a cost-effective way to warm your home.
Lennox furnace model EL296E is an ENERGY STAR certified heating equipment, saving you energy, saving you money and reducing the impact on the environment without compromising performance in any way.
In addition to its ENERGY STAR rating, Lennox furnace model EL296E has an AFUE of 96%. AFUE, short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a measure of a furnace’s performance and efficiency. It’s similar to the miles-per-gallon rating on your car. The lower your fuel cost, the higher the AFUE rating. This model’s 96% AFUE essentially means it can convert 96% of its fuel into heat. This energy efficiency can save you hundreds of dollars on energy every year.
Lennox furnace’s energy efficiency isn’t limited to colder months. When paired with Lennox air conditioner, you can increase your overall energy efficiency for your heating and cooling system, referred to as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).
You can also save money by integrating your Nest Thermostat with your Lennox furnace.