Energy Saver 101: Home Heating

Energy Saver 101: ENERGY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SAVER HOME HEATING DID YOU KNOW? 45% 57% Space heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home, accounting for about 45 percent of energy bills. The most common home heating fuel is natural gas, and it's used in about 57 percent of American homes. Between 2007 and 2012, the average U.S. household spent more than $700 $1,700 on heating using natural gas on heating homes using heating oil. ENERGY-SAVING TIP Before upgrading your heating system, improve the efficiency of your house. This will allow you to purchase a smaller unit, saving you money on the upgrade and operating costs. HOW HEATING A eating systems have SYSTEMS WORK three basic components. If your heating system isn't working properly, one of these basic components could be the problem. 68 The heat source -- most The heat distribution The control system -- most commonly a thermostat -- regulates the amount of commonly a furnace, boiler or system -- such as forced air or heat pump -- provides warm air or water to heat the house. radiators -- moves warm air, steam or hot water through the home. heat that is distributed. DID YOU KNOW? Furnaces and boilers are often called CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS because the heat is generated in a central location and then distributed throughout the house. ENERGY- INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT and save big on your energy bills! Save an estimated 10 percent a year on heating and cooling SAVING TIP costs by using a programmable thermostat. TYPES OF HEAT SOURCES FOR HEATING SYSTEMS: HEAT ACTIVE SOLAR ELECTRIC FURNACES BOILERS PUMPS HEATING HEATING A boiler heats water to provide hot water or steam for heating that is then distributed through a series of pipes. A heat pump pulls heat from the surrounding air to warm the house. It can also be used for home cooling. The sun heats a liquid or air in a solar collector to provide immediate heat or store it for future use A furnace heats air and uses a blower motor and air ducts to Sometimes called electric resistance heating, electric heating is any process in which electricity is coverted into heat. distribute warm air throughout the house. EFFICIENCY EFFICIENCY EFFICIENCY EFFICIENCY EFFICIENCY 59-98.5%, depending on the system's age 50-90%, depending on the system's age 6.8-10 HSPF Not applicable 95-100% LIFE EXPECTANCY LIFE EXPECTANCY LIFE EXPECTANCY LIFE EXPECTANCY LIFE EXPECTANCY 15-30 15-30 years 15 years 20+ years 20+ years FUEL FUEL FUEL FUEL FUEL Natural gas, propane, heating oil, electricity Solar energy Natural gas, propane, heating oil, biodiesel blends, electricity Electricity, geothermal energy Electricity PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO Inexpensive Can reduce your fuel bills. Easier to practice zone heating (only heating the rooms you use in your home). Can provide both your heating and cooling needs if you live in a moderate climate. Inexpensive equipment cost and high efficiency CON CON CON CON CON Expensive to install and requires a minimum temperature to prevent pipes from freezing. The blower fan Some types can be expensive to install. Can require a second heating source, which makes the initial purchase more costly. Can be expensive to operate compared to combustion appliances. can be loud. TYPES OF DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS FOR HEATING SYSTEMS: FORCED AIR STEAM RADIANT HOT WATER ELECTRIC SYSTEM RADIANT HEATING BASEBOARDS BASEBOARDS The most common type of home heating system, a forced air system distributes heat from a fumace throughout the home using air ducts and vents. One of the oldest types of heating systems, steam radiant heating uses radiators to distribute heat. Radiant heating - which can be installed as floor, ceiling or wall panels -- transfers heat directly from a hot surface to people and objects in the room. Similar to radiant heating, hot water baseboards (also called hydronic heat) use hot water to heat a space via wall-mounted baseboard units. A type of zone heater, electric baseboards release heated air out of the top while pulling cooler air to the bottom of the unit. PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO Can be used for cooling. Doesn't distribute allergens. Provide close Quiet operation and low maintenance. Relatively trouble free. temperature control. CON CON CON CON CON Distributes allergens throughout the house. Requires separate distribution system for cooling systems. Can be expensive to install and repair if problems arise. Limits fumiture placement and slow to increase temperature. Limits furniture placement and easily damaged. ENERGY-SAVING TIP ENERGY-SAVING TIP ENERGY-SAVING TIP ENERGY-SAVING TIP ENERGY-SAVING TIP Clean your air filters monthly and replace them regularly. Bleed trapped air from hot water radiators, which can impede flow of hot water throughout the system. When installing in a Install a programmable thermosta advantage of zone heating. Clean the heating coils regularly to prolong the heater's life and maintain its efficiency. wood-framed floor, consider take co vering it with ceramic tiles, which add thermal mass. COMPATIBLE HEAT COMPATIBLE HEAT COMPATIBLE HEAT COMPATIBLE HEAT COMPATIBLE HEAT SOURCE SYSTEMS SOURCE SYSTEM SOURCE SYSTEMS SOURCE SYSTEMS SOURCE SYSTEM Furnace, heat pump, active solar heating Boiler Boiler, heat pump, active solar heat, electric heating Boiler, active solar heating Electric heating MEASURING A HEATING SYSTEM'S EFFICIENCY The efficiency of COMBUSTION HEATING APPLIANCES (FURNACES AND BOILERS) is measured by ANNUAL FUEL UTILIZATION EFFICIENCY (AFUE). how efficient the appliance is at converting the energy in its fuel to heat the annual fossil fuel AFUE = energy consumed by the appliance. 56-70% 80-83% 90-98.5% AFUE AFUE AFUE furnace boiler old, low-efficiency heating systems mid-efficiency heating systems high-efficiency heating systems A HEAT PUMP can be used for both heating and cooling. A heat pump's cooling efficiency is measured using the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), while its heating efficiency is measured using heating season performance factor (HSPF) or coefficient of performance (COP), depending on the type of heat pump. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? total space heating required during the heating season the total electrical HSPF HSPF ranges energy consumed during the same season. from 6.8-10. heat the amount of COP COP ranges from 2-4. %3D provided energy input. TYPES OF SPACE HEATERS Sometimes called point-of-use heaters, space heaters provide supplemental heat to a specific room. Since safety is a big concern with space heaters, every home should have a carbon monoxide detector installed. WOOD OR PORTABLE & DIRECT FIREPLACE PELLET STOVES VENT WALL HEATERS Wood-buming stoves are a good heating option for those who live in an area where wood is readily available. Pellet stoves typically are more efficient than wood stoves but may require servicing. Portable heaters are used when the main heating system is inadequate or when central heating is too costly to install or operate. Portable heaters can either be electric or combustion. While some fireplaces are only decorative, others can be used as a heating source. Installing a heat-air exchange system in the chimney will help blow the wam air back into the room. SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY Fireplaces should be inspected regularly to ensure the chimney is clean and that the fireplace drafts properly. Follow manufacturer instructions for If not used properly, unvented portable combustion heaters can be dangerous -- causing carbon monoxide poisoning, severe illness and even death. To ensure safe operation, follow all manufacturer directions. All unvented combustion space heaters should be labeled to verify compliance with ANSI Z21.11.2. installation and make sure to have your wood and pellet stoves regularly cleaned to improve efficiency and safety. SELECTING A HEATING SYSTEM Before replacing your heating system, consider the following: FUEL CLIMATE EFFICIENCY SIZE The heating fuels available depend on where you live in the U.S. For example, in the Northeast heating oil is more popular because there is limited access to The type of heating system you buy will depend on where you live. In warmer climates, you might only need space heaters, while in colder climates, you might consider a central heating system. The higher a heating system's efficiency is, the higher the purchase cost but the lower the operating costs. Look for ENERGY STAR products, Proper sizing is as important as efficiency. If your heating system is too big for your home, it will cost more to operate. Work with a professional con tractor to find and install the best heating system for your home. which exceed the minimum standards for efficiency and quality. natural gas. HEATING SYSTEM MAINTENANCE Periodic maintenance can extend the life of your heating system and minimize efficiency loss. CLEAN FILTERS MONTHLY and replace them regularly. Check air ducts and heating pipes to make sure they are PROPERLY SEALED. Make sure air vents, REMOVE DIRT, SOOT OR CORROSION FROM THE SYSTEM, and clean the heat exchanger to maintain heating levels. baseboard heaters and radiators aren't obstructed. TIPS FOR CUTTING YOUR HEATING BILLS In winter months, 70 open your curtains during the day to naturally heat your Use a programmable thermostat to set your heater back while you are away or asleep. Consider air sealing your home and adding insulation to your walls and attic to help retain your home's heat. Up to 25 percent of your home's heat is lost through small cracks and holes throughout your home. home and close them at night to keep the heat inside. Seal your air ducts, and make sure they are properly insulated when they are installed in an unheated area of the home, such as an attic or crawlspace. Weatherstrip around your doors and windows to keep warm air from escaping. Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise to blow the rising hot air down. Make sure your chimney is clean. Sources: Energy Saver (, Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center ( and U.S. Energy Information Administration ( O ENERGY.GOV ||

Energy Saver 101: Home Heating

shared by sarahgerrity on Jan 08
Our new Energy Saver 101 infographic lays out everything you need to know about home heating -- from how heating systems work and the different types on the market to what to look for when replacing y...


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