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Heaters

Type of Heater Has the Lowest Emissions

Which Type of Heater Has the Lowest Emissions?

By Heaters

While Frisco certainly has less demand for home heating than many other areas in the USA, houses here still need a reliable heat source during the winter months. In general, heating costs can account for around 30% of utility bills on average. That means a lot of energy is used to heat your home, and that energy has to come from somewhere.

While there are many different types of heaters today, chances are your Frisco home uses either a gas furnace or electric heat. Both have their upsides and downsides, and it isn’t always obvious which is best for your home. There’s more to consider than one might think when it comes to emissions.

How Your Home’s Heating System Works

While heating systems all work towards a common goal, they accomplish it differently. If you have gas heating in your home, you’ll have either a furnace or a boiler. These two appliances serve the same purpose in different ways, with both making it possible to circulate heat throughout your home.

A furnace exchanges heat from burning gas to air that flows through heat exchangers in the furnace. This heated air is then directed through the ductwork in your home, providing warmth throughout.

A boiler, on the other hand, heats the water. This heated water then circulates through pipes running through your walls. While the distribution method is different, both solutions rely on burning natural gas to heat your home.

Electric heating is different, relying on electricity to heat your home. In some cases, an electric boiler can distribute heat as a gas boiler does. In other cases, a home might rely on electric baseboard heaters. These contain thin wires that heat up and directly heat the air in the room, working on the same principle that lets a toaster generate heat.

Emissions from Your Home’s Furnace

The fuel burned in your furnace is natural gas, also known as methane. This abundant resource is relatively easy to handle, being distributed through pipelines. Of course, this means it’s only an option in regions that have natural gas pipeline networks. However, its low cost has led to gas networks being everywhere.

Natural gas does create emissions. It doesn’t simply disappear when burned. It makes combustion products that must be released into the atmosphere. Like any other fuel source, the carbon in natural gas is turned into carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when burned.

While carbon dioxide emissions are a primary concern for being environmentally unfriendly, natural gas doesn’t cause many other emissions. 

Fuels like oil, diesel, gasoline, and even wood have chemicals that lead to sulfur and nitrogen compound emissions. Natural gas, on the other hand, produces essentially just carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

While natural gas is in many ways a better option when it comes to the environment, it is still consuming resources and putting carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the air. In theory, a solution that provides heating without the need to extract natural gas or other fossil fuels would be much better, but can that theory be put into action today?

The Problem with Electric Heaters

You might think that an electric heater produces zero emissions at a casual glance. The baseboard heaters or electric boilers in your home aren’t giving off carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide or any other emissions, but there’s far more to consider than what’s going on in your home.

The electricity that you use to heat your home comes from somewhere. It has to be generated at some kind of power plant. To accurately measure the emissions from electrical heaters, we need to look at the generating stations that produce the electricity.

While renewable energy production is on the rise, electricity in the USA is still derived mainly from fossil fuels. In fact, one-third of US electricity is generated from burning coal, producing carbon dioxide and a wide variety of other harmful emissions.

Over two-thirds of electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels in general, including natural gas, oil, and coal. What this means is that, despite not producing any emissions in your own home, your electric heaters are still contributing to overall emissions.

It’s also important to consider the waste generated by all of the extra steps required for electrical heating. While a gas furnace simply burns gas and transfers the heat to air inside your home, electrical heat relies on electrical transmission systems and the initial generation of electricity.

Essentially, the process turns fuel into heat into electricity and then back into heat, adding another potential step where energy loss can occur. While a move towards an electrical grid that relies less on fossil fuels and more on renewable resources could see the net emissions from electrical power improve, this simply hasn’t happened yet.

Other Methods that Really Can Reduce Your Heating Emissions

While switching from a gas furnace to an electric heater probably isn’t going to improve emissions, there are some innovative steps that you can take to reduce emissions. In fact, simply improving the efficiency of your furnace helps in the long run. If you have an older furnace, newer models work more efficiently and reduce your overall emissions.

People interested in truly optimizing their emissions can look into geothermal heating. This approach involves burying pipes underneath the ground to take advantage of the steady temperature there.

During the winter, it’s warmer underground than above ground, and it’s cooler underground in the summer. Geothermal heating lets you take advantage of that difference to pre-heat or pre-cool your HVAC intake air.

Active solar heating is another method to reduce heating emissions. Basically, a fluid runs through flat-plate collectors on your roof, absorbing heat from sunlight and transferring it inside, more efficiently gathering heat than electric solar panels.

Making Your Furnace or Heater as Efficient as Possible

Of course, you don’t need to undergo some significant installation to reduce your emissions right away. Instead, you can reach out to Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a heating system tune-up in Frisco.

No matter what type of heating system you use, the increased efficiency that a tune-up provides translates into less power used and fewer emissions generated, so give us a call today.

Shop for Your Heater Online

Should You Shop for Your Heater Online?

By Heaters

If you live in the Carrollton area, you know how important it is to have a quality furnace in the wintertime. It is one of the essential appliances in your home, so if you are in the market for a new heater, then chances are you’ll probably at least look online. 

These days, you can do just about everything through your computer or smartphone. Yes, that includes making a big appliance purchase! Most major retailers allow you to schedule an installation and buy 100% online. It is a convenient option, no doubt. But remember, shopping online does also have downsides.

Pros

Online shopping for any item comes with its advantages, including convenience, price comparison, and selection. Here are some of the main reasons people like their shopping carts to be digital.

Online Convenience

There’s nothing more convenient than shopping online. Most of us make lots of online purchases every year. There is no need to go to the store, worry about inventory, and transport your heater. Most online marketplaces list all of the specifications you need to know, as well as manufacturing and warranty information.

You can compare models, see photos, and make the purchase all in one afternoon. Then the furnace just shows up at your door! When it comes to convenience, there’s no question online shopping is the best option.

Price Comparison

Online shopping for your heater makes it easier than ever to price shop. You can compare the cost of many different furnaces across different manufacturers and online marketplaces. You’d be surprised with the cost difference between manufacturers with similar furnace models.

You can also take advantage of online sales and even set up price alerts that notify you when the price drops on a device you like. There’s no doubt that price shopping online is easy, straightforward, and time-efficient.

Selection

Most major retailers will have a decent selection of furnaces available for purchase in person. However, it doesn’t compare to the number of choices you’ll find online. When you shop with your computer or smartphone, you can find nearly every manufacturer, every model, and every upgrade you could ever want.

If you are looking for a standard model, you’ll be able to find dozens of options. And if you are looking for something more specialized, you’ll be able to find a selection for that, as well. You can compare all of the devices in one place, making it easier to compare and settle on the model that’s right for you.

Cons

While shopping online for a heater is certainly convenient, it comes with drawbacks, including shipping costs and installation or warranty issues.

Shipping

There’s no way around it—shipping large objects is expensive. Companies charge based on size and weight. Unfortunately, furnaces are large and heavy. In addition, new heaters require accessories like electrical cords that also affect the shipping cost.

Some online vendors will cover the cost of shipping on occasion. Other times, you’ll be responsible for paying, and that can drive up the total cost significantly.

In addition, shipping large objects can take time. Oftentimes, online companies won’t pay to fly large appliances, so they transport them by ground, which can easily take a week or more. If you’ve had a breakdown and need a new furnace fast, online shopping may not be the best option.

Questionable Installation

The installation of your new heater is incredibly important. The quality of the install will directly affect your system’s performance, efficiency, and reliability. If the install is not completed correctly, you may end up dealing with repair bills sooner than you should. Incorrect installation can also significantly shorten the lifespan of your system.

Companies that sell units online sometimes don’t offer installation, meaning you’ll be left to find an installer yourself. On the other hand, some online companies that do offer installation services sell thousands of furnaces a year and focus on quantity, not quality. In other words, you never really know what you are getting with their installation services.

Warranty Issues

One of the best things you can do when you purchase a new heater is to make sure it comes with a solid warranty. If you purchase a new system through a local HVAC company, you can likely get a warranty through the manufacturer in addition to the local company, so you’ll be totally covered in the event that something happens.

Online retailers aren’t so straightforward. Many manufacturers don’t offer warranties on online HVAC purchases. When they do, it is usually limited, and it can be hard to get covered when it comes time for repairs or a breakdown. 

Misleading Advertisements

If you’ve ever shopped for anything online, you know that marketing companies are talented at selling products. They write perfect descriptions that make it seem like you are purchasing the best product on the market. But how do you know what you are really getting and if it is right for you?

If you aren’t familiar with furnaces, you are really just hoping for the best when you order online. There are dozens and dozens of options, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. 

On the other hand, if you purchase through a local Carrolton company, they’ll be able to share their expertise and help you make a selection.

Local companies have years of experience in the community, know all of the manufacturers, and can make honest recommendations that fit your needs.

Choose Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for Your Heating Needs

If you are ready to order a new heater, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning have you covered. With over two decades of industry experience in Carrollton, we always have one goal in mind: to treat customers like family.

We can help make honest recommendations so that you have peace of mind knowing you have a quality furnace that fits your needs. You can also rest easy knowing that our professionals installed it the right way. We’re standing by ready to help. Give us a call today!