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The top three factors in choosing a heating system are energy-efficiency, lifestyle, and budget. But it can be tricky to figure out which option is the best fit for all three, especially considering each home — and budget — is different.
Heat pumps: If you use electric heat, a properly-designed and installed heat pump can cut your
energy bills down significantly, because it’s forcing the warm air — and the cool air, in the summer —
to circulate in your home. But do your homework about the initial up-front costs, as well as the return
on your investment.
Oil: Consistently rated one of the most efficient heating options, oil can quickly bring a house up to the right temperature. There’s also a faster hot-water recovery than with other fuels. Don’t worry about your tank leaking, because the new tanks use double-containment technology to keep everything in place.
Natural gas: It’s not available everywhere yet, but natural gas is quickly becoming the energy
choice of many Canadians. It’s sometimes available as an upgrade when you build a new home, depending on the area. Homeowners love its versatility, as they use it to power their fireplaces, stoves, BBQs, and pool and hot tub heaters. It can also be used to power a snow-melting system for your driveway. Natural gas has minimal greenhouse emissions, and allows you to have hot water and heat even during a power outage.
Solar: Solar heating equipment can be added onto a mortgage of a new home — and it’s costly — but experts say homeowners wind up paying far less than they are saving each month. Homes that use solar heat are also eligible for large rebates from the government.
Upgrading your heating system is a big deal, so be sure not to rush into it. Don’t make any decisions without first being presented with capital and operating cost comparisons for a range of systems.
It’s important to get specific information that would apply to a house of your size, otherwise you might be slipped cost information that’s only applicable to a house that’s much smaller or larger than your own.
Once you’ve met with industry professionals and looked at the numbers on paper, we feel confident that you’ll find the right decision for your home.