Tag Archives: heating systems

Green Heating for a Sustainable Winter

Green Heating for a Sustainable WinterWhen you think of sustainable heating, alternatives like active solar and geothermal systems might come to mind. Even if it’s not feasible to make major retrofits like these, you can still take steps toward green heating so you have a more sustainable home this winter.

Here are some suggestions on how to heat greener to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your utility bills:

Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

If sustainability is your goal, you’ll want to tighten up your home’s envelope to reduce energy waste. This is essential, regardless of the method you use to heat your home. Having an energy audit performed is a good place to start, because it can pinpoint exactly where heat loss is occurring, and your inspection report will list recommended solutions, like:

  • Air sealing the attic and adding more insulation between the floor joists
  • Weatherizing the exterior to limit air leakage
  • Upgrading to double- or triple-pane gas-filled windows

Optimize Your Existing HVAC System’s Efficiency

If your current heating equipment is relatively new, or a replacement isn’t in the budget, you might think it’s impossible to go greener but that’s not the case. Since sustainability is all about reducing reliance on fossil fuels, making sure your heating system uses the least amount possible is a step in the right direction. To do so, have the equipment professionally tuned-up before heating season starts, make sure all your heating vents stay open and unobstructed, and check the air filter monthly and replace it as soon as you see any build up of dirt and debris.

Make the Most of Today’s Technology

If you’re considering replacing your existing equipment, you have an opportunity to take advantage of efficiency-boosting technological advancements like a smart thermostat that learns your habits and automatically fine-tunes your energy consumption, or zoning for greater control if you have a large or multi-story home. A variable-speed air handler, and an ultra-efficient heat pump paired with a two-stage gas furnace are other green heating options worth considering.

For expert advice about green heating solutions for your Portland-area home, contact us today at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “nattanan23/Pixabay”

Is Radiant Flooring the Best Choice for Your Home?

Is Radiant Flooring the Best Choice for Your Home?
In Portland’s chilly, wet winters, a heating system that infuses your home with an even, draft-free warmth can be a real comfort. While radiant flooring is a good choice if you want this kind of warmth, it’s better suited to some situations than others.

Why Choose Radiant Floor Heating?

A forced-air system, such as a furnace, blows warm air into the room, which quickly rises to the ceiling. A radiant floor system gives off heat that directly warms people and furniture. This type of heat makes you feel warmer overall, allowing you to set a lower thermostat temperature to save energy.

No blowing air also means fewer airborne contaminants such as dust and mold spores, a plus if you experience allergies or asthma. With no motor or air moving through ducts, radiant floors are also quieter than forced-air systems. With no air vents to worry about, you can place your furniture and rugs anywhere.

Consider Your Options

Most homes with radiant flooring use either a hydronic (water) or electric design. A hydronic system uses tubes under the floor to circulate hot water produced by a boiler. The energy-efficiency of boiler heating makes hydronic systems suitable for heating the whole house. If the pipes aren’t installed during the home’s construction, however, the floor must be removed to install them.

In an electric system, pads embedded with electric heating cables are installed under the floor. Considering the relatively high cost of electric heating, these systems are best kept to a limited area, such as the bathroom. Some designs can be installed without removing the floor as long as the floor is accessible from underneath via the basement or crawl space.

Radiant flooring systems require a floor covering that holds and transmits heat well without suffering heat damage. Tile, stone, laminate, some types of vinyl flooring and even concrete are all options. You’ll want to avoid hardwood and thick carpet, though.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Muellek Josef/Shutterstock”

Are You Prepared For A Winter Weather Emergency?

Harsh winter weather can take its toll on people, especially those living in areas with colder winter temperatures, such as Portland.  Being prepared for a winter weather emergency is the best way to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe and warm during harsh storms. Here are a few tips so you’re prepared to face a winter weather emergency head on: Continue reading

AFUE Ratings: What They Are And Why They Matter When You’re Buying A Furnace

When you’re in the market for any type of new appliance, you always want to make the most informed decision possible. Buying a new furnace is no exception. The energy efficiency of any potential heating system is something you’ll want to keep in mind, and AFUE ratings are an easy way of measuring this. It means annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it’s used to measure how well a furnace or boiler converts energy it uses into heat. As an example, if a furnace has an AFUE rating of 95 percent, that means it successfully turns 95 percent of the energy it uses into heat, while that last little 5 percent goes to waste. Continue reading

HSPF: A Rating To Weigh When You’re Assessing Heat Pumps

Heat pumps represent a very energy-efficient way to heat and cool a Portland-area home. They can save you money on your utility bills because heat pumps do not expend energy to create heat; they merely pump heat into (or out of) the house. Pumping heat out of the house is essentially how all air conditioners work; the difference with a heat pump is that it can reverse the process during cold weather.

Continue reading