Making the most of fuel efficient home heating sources

Making the most of fuel efficient home heating sources

Consider replacing your older home boilers with today's highly efficient ones.  These new boilers can heat enough hot water for a 4000 square foot house with 94% efficiency, which means only six cents of your fuel, is not being used to heat your home.  These units, which are very small, eliminate the need for a chimney, as they are direct vented to the outside.  Costing $8,000 to 12,000 to install, you can save 15-20% per year from the cost of your older model.  Another option is to use a natural gas furnace which vacillates to a heat pump based on the outdoor temperature.  Natural gas is a highly efficient fuel source.


A geothermal heat pump is a great way to utilize the natural warmth of the earth.  Geothermal heat pumps have been in use since the late 1940s. Geothermal heat pumps 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%-600%) on the coldest of winter nights, compared to 175%-250% for air-source heat pumps on cool days.

While many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes—from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter—a few feet below the earth's surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Ground temperatures range from 45°F to 75°F and like a cave, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. The GHP takes advantage of this by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger. Essentially, plastic tubing is buried in the ground, and picks up the heat stored there, taking it into your home, where it is warmed to heating temperature requirements.  Even though the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of an air-source system of the same heating and cooling capacity, the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5–10 years. There are approximately 50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year.  You can save up to 50%on your heating bills with this method over traditional boilers.  The geothermal heat pump utilizes electricity instead of fossil fuel, and in today’s volatile fuel market could be an additional savings.

Contact Information

Photo of Laurel Sweeney Real Estate
Laurel Sweeney
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nutshell Realty
1209 State Route 213, PO Box 452
High Falls NY 12440
Office: 845-687-2200
Toll Free 877-468-5783
Fax: 845-687-4162

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