What does a super efficient heating system look like?

This winter has been a erratic to say the least. With temperatures swinging from 32 degrees to 50 degrees in a matter of hours, you just never know what to expect. If there’s ever a time of the year to question your heating system it’s now!  We thought we’d weigh in on our favorite energy efficient heating system.
The system we often suggest is energy efficient, improves comfort by eliminating cold spots and it improves both indoor air quality and building durability.  The system components include:

  • Heat Recover Ventilator (HRV): An HRV is a balanced ventilation system in which heat from outgoing exhaust air is transferred to incoming fresh air via an air-to-air heat exchanger. HRVs recover 50-80% of the heat in exhausted air. In hot weather the function is reversed so that the cooler inside air reduces the temperature of the incoming hot air. HRV definition from Green Building Advisor.
  • Mini Split Heat Pump- A mini-split heat pump is a heating and cooling system in which specialized refrigerant fluid in a sealed system is alternately evaporated and condensed, changing its state from liquid to vapor by altering its pressure; this phase change allows heat to be transferred into or out of the house.  It is important to note that the mini split heat pump has a hard time keeping up when tempatures drop to the single digits (Fahrenheit.)  This is where heated bathroom floors and proper air sealing and insulation come in.  Mini split heat pump definition from Green Building Advisor.
  • Radiant Heat- Heated bathroom floors are optional and they are so nice!  Some people might argue that heated bathroom floors are a luxury but we see them as a great back up to the mini split heat pump and think they can help take the edge off during those really cold periods.

It is important to note that this system is super energy efficient, eliminates cold spots throughout the home and it improves indoor air quality and building durability only when combined with proper air sealing and insulation.  Proper air sealing and insulation are key!