By Blake Kleaving
Heating water and heating and cooling the air in your home are two energy-intensive household syastems. Finding ways to reduce the energy they use while increasing comfort can be challenging. Adding to the complexity are the various energy sources available, including propane or natural gas and electricity.
When it comes to the benefits that electric-sourced climate controls and water heaters provide, consumers like you have choices.
Performance improvements and reductions in costs for these systems are helping consumers better manage their energy use. One way this is taking place is through electric air source heat pumps (ASHPs). These units provide a cost-effective way to heat and cool your home by transferring heat from one place to another instead of only generating heat. Examples include floorboard heating and combustion heating systems. New technology in ASHPs also allow for high efficiency units to operate in cold climates, showing effectiveness in heating across the Midwest.
Advancements in electric water heaters incorporate heat pump technology as well to assist in heating water while reducing the amount of energy needed. Some of these water heaters can be two to three times more efficient than conventional electric-coil water heaters.
Electric co-ops have different approaches toward helping members increase energy efficiency but their goals are the same — to help their consumers better understand the benefits of electrified equipment that can both increase the comfort of their homes and reduce their overall energy consumption.
BLAKE KLEAVING is manager of energy management solutions at Hoosier Energy in Bloomington, Indiana.