Heating your home can be very expensive, and finding the best system is essential. Most times, the best refers to efficiency. An efficient system will save on energy or your utility bill. According to The US Department of Energy, heating costs take up to 30% of your utility bill, more than any other system in a home. 

There are so many things you can do to cut this cost, including having an efficient heating installation done. Although these can be costly, an efficient system uses less energy, so that you will save some money over time. 

The Efficiency of a Heating System 

It will help to know what efficient means so that you understand the requirements when you go out there to get the best system for your home. Generally, a system’s annual fuel utilization efficiency rating (AFUE) defines its efficiency. This will tell you the amount of energy in the form of electricity or natural gas that the system uses to heat your home. 

For example, if your AFUE is at 90%, this indicates a high-efficiency rate. This means the system is putting all but 10% of the energy to good use. The Department of Energy requires a minimum of 80%, but most modern heating systems are at 98.5%. 

Types of Heating Systems


Generally, furnaces are considered the most efficient heating systems, especially when using natural gas. With this system, you can expect to spend between $2000 and $7000 for a new one. Natural gas heaters are more expensive than those that run on electricity. 

A furnace works by heating the heat exchanger air component and pushing it into the house using a duct system with a fan. The fan is called the blower and can be very loud. 

Here are the three common types of furnaces. 


A gas furnace uses natural gas, which is a natural resource. Most furnaces are natural gas models. You can get gas from your local utility company through a supply pipe installed in your home. Natural gas furnaces are considered to cost less to use than air source heat pumps. The heating efficiency is much lower with natural gas furnaces. 


Oil furnaces use fuel oil to produce heat, and the oil can be found by a local supplier. The local supplier delivers the fuel in bulk and stores it in a tank near your home. You should monitor the supply to ensure the oil doesn’t run out.


Electric furnaces use power heating coils to generate heat to warm up your home. These don’t use any gases and are more expensive to operate than natural gas furnaces.


You can still find boilers; this system heats water in a tank and then uses the water to warm the house. Water is pumped from a tank through some pipes to individual radiators. The radiators then do the heat distribution. Boilers aren’t common in most US homes, although you can still buy one. 

Hand adjusting temperature on heating radiator thermostat, Turning heat radiator knob to control heat in home

Heat Pump

Heat pumps serve a dual purpose making them also efficient in their way. A heat pump can Be a heating and air conditioning unit. When it’s hot, the unit refrigerates the air in the house; when it’s cold, the opposite happens. A heat pump does not collect any outdoor air. 

Heat pumps are also less noisy; unlike furnaces, they are quiet. Depending on your choice, a heat pump costs between $5600 and $20,000. Heat pumps have three varieties: split duct, air source, and geothermal. 

When measuring efficiency, heat pumps don’t use the AFUE. Instead, the efficiency is based here on the seasonal energy efficiency ratio and its heating seasonal performance factor. Always go for a heat pump that is energy star certified.


Selecting the best system can be based on weather conditions and finding something that will fit nicely into your home maintenance plan. In a moderate climate, heat pumps can be more efficient when compared to a furnace. In cold climates, furnaces are considered more efficient. 

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