As winter approaches, you might want to evaluate your energy costs to ensure your heating system works for you. If you have all-electric heat, you are probably wondering: Is electric heat efficient? In this post, the experts at Gold Star Services provide a quick overview of different types of electric heat and their efficiency!
Heat pumps work well in most climates and can cut electricity use in half when compared to electric resistance heating. When using a heat pump, electricity is used to power its fans and condenser unit, rather than generating heat through a process of electric resistance.
Electric Resistance Heaters
Available types of electric resistance heaters include forced-air electric furnaces, electric baseboard heaters, electric convection heaters and electric thermal storage systems. Let’s take a look at the properties of each:
Forced-Air Electric Furnace
Forced-air electric furnaces rely on ductwork to distribute heat throughout your home. Loss of heat can occur as heated air travels through ductwork in unheated areas, or leaks into areas you do not intend to heat. This can make it one of the more expensive and less efficient ways to heat your home. Furnaces have a lifespan of 15-20 years and require regular maintenance, filter replacements and duct cleaning.
For optimal performance, you’ll want to ensure your furnace is appropriately sized for the space. A system that’s too big will finish its heating cycle faster, perpetually keeping it in its startup phase, rather than its maximum efficiency operating level.
Electric Baseboard Heaters
Electric baseboard heaters rely on elements encased in metal pipes to generate heat, then distribute it through a convection process. Hot air rises through metal fins on top, while cold air is drawn into the bottom. A significant benefit of baseboard heaters is that they can be controlled using a zoning system, with a thermostat in each room. This means temperatures can be kept lower in unused areas, which can help reduce energy costs.
Electric Convection Heaters
These heaters work similar to baseboard heaters, but have a fan attached to help distribute heat more evenly. These systems can heat a room more quickly than baseboard heaters, but as a result of the fan might have an element of noise to them. Air movement from the fan can also stir up dust more than baseboard heating typically does. Both systems are fairly comparable in their heating efficiency––choosing one or the other is largely a matter of purchase/installation cost and personal preference.
Electric Thermal Storage
Some utility companies charge more for electricity during “peak” hours in order to reduce energy demand at these times. Electric thermal storage systems produce and store heat during off-peak hours. While this does not necessarily save energy, it can help reduce your energy bills if your utility company charges more during “peak” hours.
Is Electric Heat Efficient? Get in Touch with Gold Star Services!
Serving Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, contact Gold Star for dependable and professional HVAC services. We guarantee that you will be impressed by our experienced, courteous, and highly skilled HVAC technicians.