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A Few Simple Facts About Gas And Electric Heating Systems
To make your home more energy efficient, you need to understand the energy efficiency of different types of heating and cooling systems. Many times people are confused by inaccurate information they receive from manufacturers and sellers of heating and cooling equipment. But all you need to know in order to make wise decisions when purchasing this equipment are a few simple facts.
First of all, the proper sizing of equipment is of utmost importance for comfort and low utility bills. Once the proper size is known, then you must decide what type of system best suits your needs. Let's look at three ways houses are heated.
Natural gas furnace,
Now, let's consider how efficient they are. And when I talk about heating efficiency, I'm talking about how efficiently the system converts either natural gas or electricity to heat for you home.
A typical gas furnace will be rated at about 80 percent efficiency when it is new and if it is installed properly. That percentage will lessen with each year's use. An 80-percent efficiency rating means that 80 percent of the gas used will provide heat and the other 20 percent goes up the flue. For example, look at your neighbor's gas flue on a cold winter morning and see the steam coming out.
While I don't recommend this, a gas furnace that is 90-percent efficient can be used. With this unit, about 10 percent of the fuel goes up the flue. At first glance, you might think 80 to 90 percent sounds pretty good. But consider this. Would you purchase gasoline for your car and pump 10 to 20 percent of it on the ground? In my opinion, our nation would not have to worry about shortages of natural gas if we simply didn't waste it.
Another popular type of heating system, an air-to-air heat pump, uses electricity instead of gas. All Doug Rye homes use electric heating systems. An air-to-air heat pump, properly installed, would operate at an efficiency of around 250 percent. I know what you are thinking. "How can anything be more than 100 percent energy efficient?"
Remember, we are talking about how efficiently a unit uses either electricity or gas to move or create heat. Unlike a gas-fired furnace, a heat pump does not actually create heat, it simply moves heat from one location to another. Air-to-air pumps extract the heat from the air. With a heat pump, you use one unit of electricity and get about 2.5 units of heat.
My favorite system, the geothermal heat pump, is simply the very best there is. Most geothermal heating systems operate at close to 400 percent energy efficiency! Wow!
That's five times the efficiency of the 80 percent gas furnace. As this heat pump is extracting heat from Mother Earth, which is a constant 57 degrees, it is operating on minimal stress and using a very small amount of electricity to move the heat from the earth into the house.
With a geothermal system, you buy one unit of electricity (one unit of heat) and Mother Earth will give you three more units of heat for free. (That three units of heat is solar energy that Mr. Sunshine gave us over millions of years.) In future columns, we'll talk more about how air-to-air and geothermal heat pumps work.
Doug Rye is a nationally recognized energy consultant and licensed architect. Doug also host the "Home Remedies" radio talk show that is broadcast in 15 states.
Phillip Rye is a licensed engineer and has spent the past 15 years studying energy efficiency and energy conservation.
Discover how you can have lower utility bills guaranteed! Visit http://www.lower-utility-bills.com
Building Your Dream Home - Part 2
Razing the CottageWith new house plans and permits in hand, subcontractors hired and a Septic Design in process, it was now time to raze the existing cottage. I considered employing the local fire department to burn it down, however I chose the demolition route instead.
Clear Wax Candles vs. Gel Candles
In the last five years a new type of clear candle has emerged - freestanding resin-based (aka clear wax) candles. Using a base of mineral oil, the candle uses a patented resin as the stabilizer, creating a candle that outshines both traditional paraffin and gel candles.
If You're Looking for Bedding, Think "Pink"
If you have come to a point in your life that you want a serious relationship, I would strongly suggest that you "think pink". This may sound strange to some of you, but I have discovered that the color "pink" has some interesting qualities.
Removing Old Aluminum Windows
This week we are going to talk about the process of actually removing your aluminum windows in preparation for installing vinyl replacement windows. Let's start with a horizontal sliding window, which is pretty common nationwide.
Transform Your Home with Decorative Country Lighting
As we become more of a home-based society, many more of us are pouring money into our houses with DIY renovations.Do it yourself home improvement projects are both rewarding and usually will give you a good return on investment should you decide to sell or refinance your home.
Popular Trends in Home Technology
As a former home automation installer and a former manufactures rep, I have observed many trends. The following items are certainly the hotest trends this year in home technology.
Replacement Windows and Double Glazing - Essential Buyers Tips
Welcome to my essential tips for replacemnent windows and double glazing buyers. Apart from the first tip (which I consider most important) the tips are not in any particular order.
Ceiling Fan Blades
A ceiling fan consists of three basic parts, namely the motor; blades and the mounting device. The standard ceiling fans comprises of three to five blades.
Age Old Question: Buy New or Remodel Existing Home?
Your house doesn't have enough storage space, bathrooms, or counter space! Not too mention your kitchen is old, small and poorly ventilated. Now you are trying to decide between remodeling your current home to address some of these needs and buying a new bigger home.
Get Your Home Ready To Sell
Have you been considering selling your home in the near future? If you have, then it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a good long look at your home, using an unbiased eye.After all, a clean, appealing, well maintained home has much better odds of selling, selling for more, and selling faster.
Would You Steel Your Household Appliances
Would you steel your appliances? That is a question many consumers are now asking themselves.The "in" style -----------------------Stainless steel household appliances are the "in" style right now.
The Benefits of Small Dehumidifiers
So it's too humid in your 10' X 10' bedroom. Or perhaps the steam in your bathroom is starting to make the wallpaper peel.
Make Your Home Secure
The following list offers some inexpensive ways to make your home secure:* Do not leave a ladder outside of your home. A thief could easily, and they do, gain entrance to a second story window.
Marketing For The Home Builder
When one is looking into marketing for the home builder, one should find a number of tools to promote newly built homes and home-building offers:Advertising: the marketing for the home builder package should offer an advertising agency.Your primary goal, to draw leads, should be catered to with such services and offerings as a marketing plan, an established venue (or venues), listings and listings links, link-backs, artistic renderings (drawings and/or photos), all to create web presence by name branding, the latest in internet sales generating techniques.
The Advantages of Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings
Steel is a remarkable material that has been steadily increasing in popularity for construction. It is 66% recyclable, which offers both environmental and financial benefits, and is especially strong and durable.
Unfinished Furniture - Finish It Yourself!
Unfinished furniture has started to become extremely popular in the last few years. As customers have discovered the benefit of buying unfinished wood furniture, the industry has responded with an even larger selection.
The Ultimate Comfort - Top 5 Reasons For Getting an Awning
Awnings are an economical and efficient way to shade a deck or patio from the hot glaring sun or cold winds and rain. The great thing about choosing an awning is that you could go with a design whereby the awning is out all the time or if you prefer a retractable awning that can be pulled back when you want to enjoy sunlight and open air.
Installing a Home Theater System
Thinking about installing a home theater system? You're not alone. Home theater is one of the fastest growing areas areas in home entertainment and the advent of DVD recorders and HDTV means your set-up can now be entirely digital, without an inch of video tape in site.
How To Clean Your Air Conditioner Like A Pro
Jack Frost is nipping at our nose and Santa Clause has just left. The eastern seaboard has just received their third blizzard for a total of over 125 cm (56 inches) of snow in one week.
Deck Building Basics
In my previous article, "planning for a new deck," I outlined the steps for planning for a new deck. This article takes the process one step further.
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