Getting a heating system for your home is a big financial decision and one that likely affects not only your wallet but also your indoor comfort for years to come. Without careful planning and preparation, you might end up with a heating system that is too small or too big for your space or outside of your budget range. Here are five highly efficient heating systems that are great for households in Santa Fe, TX.
You can divide heat pumps into two main categories: geothermal and air-sourced. The latter type of heat pump uses carefully positioned equipment to capture and release hot air inside the house. During the heating mode, an air source pump’s refrigerant collects heat from the outside and distributes it inside. The opposite occurs when the air source pump is set on cooling mode. There are more steps that occur under the hood and a professional HVAC technician, like those at SouthCoast HVAC, can dive into it deeper if you wish to learn more about cooling and heating mechanisms.
A geothermal pump, on the other hand, draws its air conditioning capacity through the land underneath the residence or a water source nearby. A set of pipes is installed several feet underneath the ground surface, which captures and releases conditioned air. The set of pipes, also called a loop, uses either water or refrigerant to capture heat. Geothermal pumps are considered the most efficient type of heating system there is today. Experts claim that you can cut heating costs by up to 70% through a geothermal pump.
A potential drawback of geothermal pumps is the initial investment for the heating equipment and installation process. That said, a geothermal pump typically pays for itself over time through federal and state tax credits and lower monthly utility costs.
A common alternative to heat pumps is a residential furnace. It remains the most popular type of heating system in the United States, with up to 60% of households still using them. While outdated furnaces are inefficient, newer designs are outfitted with energy-saving technologies and features that fare well against heat pumps. These include variable speed fans, self-configuring controls, and modulating gas valves.
There are three main kinds of furnaces categorized based on the fuel source they use: gas, oil, and electricity. Gas furnaces produce heat through natural gas combustion and remain the cheapest type of heating system among the three. Electric furnaces, on the other hand, use electricity to activate the heating coils, which produce heat.
Electric furnaces are considered to be much safer for residential use since they do not emit toxic fumes and carbon monoxide. That said, they remain subpar to heat pumps when it comes to energy efficiency, as electric furnaces can never exceed 100% efficiency.
While they lag behind heat pumps and furnaces, boilers are certainly more efficient when compared with heating systems, like space heaters and wood or pellet stoves. Although boilers are becoming increasingly less popular as furnaces and heat pumps gain more market share, they still provide fairly efficient air conditioning when needed.
There are two main types of boilers: gas and oil. Gas-powered boilers are often more efficient to run due to the relatively lower price of natural gas as compared to oil. New gas- or oil-powered boilers are graded with up to 98% AFUE rating, which is similar to what gas furnaces can produce. They also operate more quietly and don’t require ductwork installation or maintenance.
One major flaw of boilers is cost. Some of the higher-end brands and models can cost more than furnaces. It also costs higher to operate a boiler as opposed to a heat pump. If you move into a home that already has a boiler and radiant floor system installed, it’s more cost-effective to simply replace the old boiler with a newer model.
With so many heating systems to choose from and each one having its own subset of options, it can be fairly daunting to the average homeowner to shop for a heating system at their local home improvement store. Fortunately, homeowners in Santa Fe can get professional recommendations from SouthCoast HVAC.
SouthCoast HVAC is a trusted provider of heating and air conditioning products and services. For more than a decade, we’ve been helping both residents and commercial businesses get the right heating system for their needs. Give us a call today to learn more about our products or schedule a service!