Power-saving heating systems are an essential component of energy-efficient homes, especially here in Calgary where we get long, cold winters. Fine Line Homes is one of Calgary’s leading green home builders, and we’re pleased to offer our clients the ability to choose from several energy-efficient home heating and water heating technologies.
Let’s take a closer look at your options! Efficient Home Heating Technologies
Eco-friendly home builders like Fine Line Homes typically offer three major energy-efficient home heating systems:
- Hydronic radiant floor heating. A hydronic radiant floor heating system uses hot water, which is dispersed through a network of heating panels installed beneath your floor. The heat from the hot water rises, as all heat naturally does, providing even and comfortable heating for a far lower cost than a conventional furnace.
- Electric in-floor heating. This is an alternate type of radiant in-floor heating using electricity rather than hot water to generate warmth. Like hydronic systems, they can be installed beneath just about any type of floor, including hardwood floors, tile floors, stone floors and carpeted floors. The only type of floor they don’t work well with is concrete flooring, as the heat has a hard time penetrating the thick cement.
- Heat recovery ventilators. Also known as HRVs, heat recovery ventilators are fan-powered systems that draw thermal energy out of the air being exchanged between the inside and outside of your home. These systems retain the heat that your indoor climate control system has already generated, and give even the most efficient heating systems an added boost.
If you opt in the end to go with a conventional furnace, look for a model with a high AFUE rating. “AFUE” stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency,” and it expresses the percentage of energy input that is converted into heat output. Choose a furnace with an AFUE rating of at least 90 to boost your energy savings.
Energy-Saving Water Heaters
It’s especially important to choose an efficient water heater if you’ve opted for a hydronic radiant floor heating system, but regardless of the heating technology you settle on, you shouldn’t overlook your water heating; it accounts for a significant portion of your household energy costs.
Two types of energy-efficient water heaters we recommend are energy-efficient boilers and solar water heaters. Boilers are the most common method of generating hot water, and they have AFUE ratings, just like furnaces. To maximize your boiler’s efficiency, you should insulate the tank as well as all the exposed pipes that carry hot water. This will prevent heat from escaping during water storage or transport.
Solar water heaters use photovoltaic panels to capture energy from the sun, which is then used to heat your water. Because you require far less solar power to heat water than you do to heat a house, these water heaters are a good option even if your home doesn’t get optimal sun exposure.
Tankless water heaters are also worth considering. These systems heat water on demand at the point of use, and can take a big bite out of your water heating costs. And, of course, hot water conservation is also an excellent way to reduce your home energy expenses.
Why Choose Eco-Friendly Home Builders?
When you choose Fine Line Homes, you’re making a wise investment that will pay dividends down the road. Not only will you enjoy sustained savings thanks to dramatically reduced household energy consumption, you’ll also benefit from higher average resale values compared to conventional homes. Energy-efficient homes are far more attractive to home buyers because they deliver excellent savings, year in and year out.
If you have any questions about energy-efficient home heating technologies, or if you would like to learn more about our homes or our company, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to answer any and all questions you may have.