|Ductless Heat Pumps||Ductless heat pumps, sometimes called mini-split heat pumps, provide warm or cool air without needing ductwork. These heat pumps are an efficient retrofit option for homes with baseboard heating.|Make it efficient:
A good measure of efficiency for ductless heat pumps is a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF2) rating. Aim for a rating of 8.5 HSPF2 or higher. You can also search for efficient models in the AHRI Directory
|Air-sourced Ducted Heat Pumps||Air-sourced ducted heat pumps move air around using ductwork, but use significantly less energy than furnaces. |
Make it efficient: A good measure of efficiency for heat pumps is a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF2) rating. Aim for a rating of 8.2 HSPF2 or higher.
Furnaces||Furnaces heat air using electricity, natural gas, or other fuel, and distribute the heated air throughout a home using ductwork. Upgrading to an efficient furnace can save energy and money. |
Make it efficient: A furnace is rated by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) score. The AFUE measures how efficiently a furnace uses its fuel. For example, an AFUE of 95 percent means that 95 percent of the energy in the furnace's fuel becomes heat for the home (the other 5 percent escapes up the vent or elsewhere).
|Geothermal/Ground-source Heat Pumps||Geothermal heat pumps, also known as ground-source heat pumps, use the temperature of the earth to heat or cool a space. They can be more efficient than an air source heat pump because the ground maintains an almost constant temperature of about 54 degrees. Typical ground-source heat pumps move fluid through buried pipes, absorbing the earth's temperature. The fluid is then used in the heat pump heat or cool your home or business.|
Make it efficient: Look for an Energy Star rated geothermal heat pump.
|Duct Sealing||An efficient heat pump or furnace will work best if your ductwork is properly sealed and insulated, especially where ducts are in unheated spaces like attics and crawlspaces.|
Make it efficient: Installation should include proper duct sealing to minimize unwanted leaks to unconditioned spaces. Additional efficiency is achieved, particularly for new construction, by locating ducts and air handlers within the conditioned space.
|Programmable Thermostats||Programmable thermostats let you create a pre-set schedule, such as turning your heat down when you are asleep or away from home. "Smart" programmable thermostats can be controlled remotely by smart phone, and sense when the house is unoccupied to set back temperatures to achieve greater savings. Some utilities also offer voluntary demand-response incentive programs using smart thermostats to help manage peak demand events and support grid reliability.|
Make it efficient: The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and lower when you go to sleep. In the summer, the U.S. DOE recommends setting your cooling to 78 degrees.
|Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces||Direct vent gas fireplaces draw combustion air from the outdoors and vent directly through a wall without a masonry chimney. They can circulate heated air and be controlled by a thermostat. They are an energy efficient alternative to open fireplaces, which draw room air up the chimney - often removing more heat from the house than they produce.|
Make it efficient: Look for a Canadian EnerGuide efficiency rating of 75 percent or higher. The manufacturer's manual should list the number, labeled as "CSA P.4.1-02" or just "P4." The Energy Trust of Oregon also publishes a list of high-efficiency fireplaces if you need a starting point to find an efficient model.
|Wood & Pellet Stoves||Wood and pellet stoves use renewable resources to produce heat.
Make it efficient: High-efficiency stoves burn cleaner. Look for a stove with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification sticker. You can also search for efficient models on the EPA's website .
Insulation||Insulation saves energy and improves comfort, keeping your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. Home performance contractors can assess your home and recommend cost-effective insulation and air leak sealing.|
Make it efficient: Insulation is assigned an R-value, which is a measure of its thermal insulating capabilities. The higher the R-value, the better! Aim for a minimum R-49 for attics, R-30 for floors, and R-21 for walls, or with as high of an R-value as possible for existing cavity depth.
|Fans||Circulating fans, include ceiling fans, oscillating fans, or whole-house fans can help cool your home or business without using a lot of energy. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room - fans cool people, not rooms.
Make it efficient:
Look for the ENERGY STAR
label. ENERGY STAR-rated fans are guaranteed to be high-quality and energy-efficient.
Heat or Energy Recovery Ventilation||Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and energy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems provide balanced ventilation for homes. In a typical installation, stale air is removed from living spaces, passing through a central unit that reclaims the heat from the exhaust air, and then warms, filters, and humidifies the incoming fresh air. Many systems operate continuously, quietly, and efficiently while maintaining proper ventilation.|
Make it efficient: Look for a model tested, rated, and certifiedthrough the Home Ventilating Institute