Whether you’re purchasing a new home or upgrading your heating system, high efficiency heating equipment is a smart choice. Look for Energy Star appliances, which meet rigorous efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Another excellent source of information is the CEE website (Consortium for Energy Efficiency). The CEE is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging businesses and industry leaders to produce and sell high efficiency appliances, and the website lists participating members. These appliances may cost more initially, but they will bring returns through lowered utility bills.
If you’re looking for a heat pump, also check out the SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This number is calculated by dividing the number of BTUs of heat transference by the total watt-hours of energy use. One BTU (British Thermal Unit) equals the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit – roughly the amount of energy created by a lit birthday candle; watt-hours measure electricity. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the heat pump. Just as important as the efficiency rating of your equipment is that it’s properly sized and installed, which is why it’s imperative that a certified technician install and maintain your heating system. Besides saving you money, an energy efficient heating system releases less pollution and benefits the environment – it’s a smart, progressive investment.