most efficient heating source?

diydevonJune 10, 2009

We will have to be replacing our furnace this year - its about 20+ years old and is terribly inefficient. We use an oil heating system. My husband and I are currently researching what heating direction we should head in. Solar heating would be ideal, but its just not in our budget, despite the fact that it does pay for itself in the long run - unless any of you know of any grants out there for solar pannels. So, other then that, what would you recommend? Our home is a 1979 2 story colonial, aprox 3000 sq ft. We live in south central PA so our winters while cold and sometimes snow filled, arent as bitter as some places.

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Furnaces are in the 90+% efficiency range. About the only way to improve might be a heat pump.
In house, you could make sure the ducts were sealed and insulated.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 5:19PM
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You are in a climate that heat pumps have been viable in, and are becoming more so. My current system ~15 Y.O.,would have a hard time heating the house below 30F ambients. If you read over on the Heating&AC forum you'll note units are making great inroads here.
I was a heat pump sceptic, designed the house to burn wood. But we wanted central air and the HP was part and parcel. This past winter I burned wood maybe three weeks, heat pump otherwise. An auxiliary heat source tides over the cold spells. Lots of options here. A dual fuel unit would let you buy the current cheapest fuel.
There may be units that qualify for federal credits. If you do pursue the pump, accessory hot water heating is possible, cutting your electric bill.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:24PM
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