Based on the Energy Forum Report on energy consumption in homes, heating and cooling consume the most energy. The report indicates that in today’s world, modern homes use approximately 35% more energy compared to three decades ago. Therefore, energy efficiency is becoming a common buzz nowadays, which is anticipated to be achieved through employing more technological innovations. However, the energy usage per household is still down regardless of the many devices in our homes. Other studies have also shown that use of energy efficient products has led to less energy consumption in homes, as well as relatively lower carbon emission into the environment.
The future of heating systems can be bright if homeowners continue using energy efficient systems and gadgets. The smart technology in homes has also enhanced the efficient use of energy because heaters can be connected to the internet to offer real-time information that enables homeowners to know and control their energy usage. The proposed wireless sensors for automated heating and cooling control systems will enable access to information such as outdoor weather conditions at relatively lower cost than the current sensors. New protocols are also being developed by various federal agencies in order to enhance communication between smart appliances and systems.
Most Energy Efficient Heating Systems
There are many innovations taking place globally, all geared towards reducing the energy consumption in homes. The best heating system should be able to insulate and air-seal the home such that heat does not escape. Secondly, it is important to ensure that the source of energy is cost-effective and low-carbon as possible. Assuming that every homeowner understands the importance of insulating and sealing, the forum shall go straight and allow discussions on the most efficient heating options for home users.
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The ongoing production of next-generation heat pumps may improve the efficiency of home heating. These heat pump systems will be able to heat and cool by distributing heat from one room to another. Some of the systems include; fuel-fired systems that can minimize energy consumption by approximately 30%, natural gas heat pumps with low emission of carbon, and low-cost gas heat pumps that are designed to minimize heating cost by approximately 40%.
It is the most energy efficient heating system for home users based on the conversion efficiency, environmental cost, and financial cost. It is the cheapest when it comes to installation and operation since the user does not need to buy specific equipment. Once a home is designed such that the sunlight can be captured and converted into heat energy, you are done with almost everything. The sunlight will pass through the windows that are facing the sun so that the heat can be retained by the sealed and insulated walls and floors. There is a less operational cost after installation because the heat energy is ‘free’ unless when the weather is cloudy and you need a different source.
This is another efficient heating source for homes as its source is underneath the earth’s surface. It is an environmentally friendly heating source, which uses a similar evaporator system to draw heat from a refrigerator. Of course, some electricity, fossil fuel, or coal might be used, but less greenhouse emission is produced. It is one of the great methods of saving on heating cost, even though the installation process is usually expensive. This might make some homeowners unable to pay for it.
Wood Heating Source
Wood heating can be another efficient energy source for your heating needs as long as you have access to unlimited wood materials. Burning wood is said to be carbon neutral because little carbon is released. However, this source of heating might endanger the global forest cover if everyone is relying on wood for heating. If it can be harvested sustainably, wood can be a good source of heating because it is carbon neutral. It is worth noting that wood can only be effective if you have an efficient woodstove or fireplace that can burn cleanly. Also, the flue damper needs to be closed if you are not burning wood to prevent the heated air from escaping through the chimney.
Oil Heating Source
As much as oil is cheap to obtain, there is a challenge when it comes to storage. You need a tank in order to store the oil, not to mention the health and environmental risks of storing oil. It generates obnoxious smell originating from the oil tank or furnace. In addition, nowadays insurers are not willing to insure homes with oil storage tanks. Another challenge is the task of filling the tank, which is seen as an inconvenience to most homeowners.
This is the most expensive source of heating unless you live in areas where the prices are subsidized by the state. The only efficient and clean methods of producing electricity are hydropower and geothermal whereby water and steam are used to turn turbines respectively. This lowers the conversion cost and low emission of carbon.
Natural Gas Heating Source
For many years, natural gas has been used as the heating source due to relatively lower cost compared to electricity. However, many homeowners who use natural gas are facing challenges due to price fluctuations of the commodity.