best fuel for central heating?

KateB22December 5, 2013

I am having a new house built and deciding about my heating system.
What do you think is the best fuel (environmentally, financially, etcetera) for a central heating system?

We will have radiant floor heating.
I had been wanting to get the kedel pellet boiler because pellets seems to me a much more environmentally friendly thing than any petroleum product.

In my research I see that a pellet boiler will be 10 thousand more (at about a 15thou price including hot water and install vs aobut a 5000 price for a propane boiler) and am now reconsidering.

I am looking at buderus boilers.I do not want to burn regular heating oil. natural gas is made from fracking which seems just awful.

I am considering propane but I doubt it is made from environmentally friendly ways either. I don't want to use wood.
What do you think is the best choice for a central heating system?

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Not all natural gas comes from fracking. However, We chose to go with natural gas for a variety of reasons. Cost- very affordable, cleanliness- very clean, familiarity-grew up cooking, water heating and house heating, realibility-not dependent on a truck delivering your heat.
My humble 2â

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 11:26PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Natural gas, of the fossil fuels, is best in my opinion as well.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 8:22AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Look into is about 300% efficient. We are very pleased with ours.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 1:21PM
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If you live in a suitable location, solar collectors heating water for the hydronic heat in the floors can be very efficient. It's probably more expensive to install, but you have extremely low operating costs after that (no fuel to buy), and a well-designed system uses easily repaired parts.

HOWEVER: You need the right exposure for the collectors and you need the space for the insulated hot storage tank, and the exchangers.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:43AM
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First, you can get no better than 100% efficiency. And the only one that is 100% efficient is electric baseboard. There are no moving parts.

But it's expensive.

Maybe you need a renewable source. That's what I use. But labor is involved, and people today don't like that part. My primary heat source is a wood stove. I have oil as backup. So far this bitterly cold winter I have spent just over $450 in heating costs.

But like I said, it involves labor on my part. But when the power goes out I still have heat. And the fire is more entertaining than 90% of what's on TV today.

My opinion for you? Natural gas heat if it's available to your home.
Not propane. The price of propane is skyrocketing and there are shortages.

Forget the fracking baloney. There are literally tens of thousands of wells drilled with no problems. And fracking fluids are evolving to a point where you can drink it.

Here's the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drink up

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:12AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

christopherh, you can get 300% efficiency with geothermal because you are sourcing the heat from the earth for free. You are only paying for the electricity to run the pumps to circulate the fluid to the earth to capture the heat/cooling.


They use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300% to 600%) on the coldest winter nights, compared to 175% to 250% for air-source heat pumps on cool days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Geothermal heat pumps

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:15AM
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300% as compared to what?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 7:08AM
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As compared to your electric baseboard heater.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

300% refers to energy in vs. energy out. As the earth does the primary heat generation and the electricity use only needs to move that heat, they can reach efficiencies far higher than any traditional heating system.

From wikipedia,

Since a heat pump moves 3 to 5 times more heat energy than the electric energy it consumes, the total energy output is much greater than the input. This results in net thermal efficiencies greater than 300% as compared to radiant electric heat being 100% efficient. Traditional combustion furnaces and electric heaters can never exceed 100% efficiency.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:01PM
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