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Hands down, most people agree radiant heating is the most comfortable way to heat your home. With no ducts, it's quiet, sleek and these modern systems provide even heating. Retrofit options can make even a century old home feel warm and cozy, with under floor, wall radiators, and other options.
Many people know that Geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient heating and cooling systems available, but most don't know that they qualify for a 30% Federal tax credit. With this incentive, the higher cost of drilling or trenching to install tubing can be offset, making Geothermal competitive with other heat pumps, but with lower operating and maintenance costs.
The Romans first used solar thermal, and it still works great today. Best for large households with electric water heating, solar thermal usually saves about 2/3 of the home's annual hot water heating costs. Solar thermal is also great when you want to go solar, but don't have room for solar PV. At three times the efficiency, it fits on almost any roof.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Electric water heater design has been stagnant for years, but now Heat Pump water heaters have brought them into the modern age. Like hybrid cars, they are the best of two worlds. An integrated heat pump provides high efficiency water heating all year, with a booster electric element to provide all the capacity needed for peak demand periods. With over 50% of the cost incentivized, heat pump water heaters are a smart upgrade.
Mini-Split Heat Pumps
Mini-Splits are a very popular import from Japan. These sleek heating and cooling systems are great for retrofitting hot/cold attic bedrooms, or replacing baseboard heat. The walls units are about 3' long by 1' tall, and are whisper quiet. Expect three times the efficiency of baseboard electric heating - plus cooling! 2013 brings extra incentives at the utility, state, and Federal levels.