Which heating system should you choose when renovating your home for energy efficiency? The question is very important. To reinforce the ecological character of your home, you will have to choose the right heater. There are many possibilities in this respect. There are different types of heaters that can reduce the environmental impact of your home and, at the same time, reduce your heating costs.
It is by considering your needs, your situation, before anything else, that you will have to choose.
A conventional or condensing natural gas heater
Of course, heaters that run on natural gas use fossil fuels. However, this energy resource is the “cleanest” fossil energy. If, for technical reasons, your situation does not allow you to use renewable energy, then it is recommended that you opt for a gas condensing heater, which offers optimum efficiency. This type of installation recovers the heat contained in the water vapour in the flue gas and, in this way, reduces energy consumption by 30% compared to a traditional solution. The gas condensing heater is a good transitional solution.
The other option is the low-temperature gas heater, whose principle is to circulate in the circuit water heated to 50°C, instead of 90°C in a traditional heater. For optimal operation, it must be coupled with soft heat emitters, whether underfloor heating or low-temperature radiators. The low-temperature gas heater allows you to reduce your energy consumption by 12 to 15%.
The wood heater: for 100% renewable energy
Opting for a wood-fired heater can be very interesting if you want to replace your heater that runs on fossil fuel, gas or heating oil. Wood has the advantage of being affordable and renewable, provided that the resource used comes from sustainably managed forests
Ideally, therefore, opt for a wood pellet heater, automatically fed by a system connected to a silo. There are also log heaters, but this is more restrictive in that it must be fed manually.
The hybrid heater: a foot in the energy transition
The installation of a wood heater is not always possible, depending on the configuration of the house. Another option is a hybrid installation, which combines a traditional heater running on natural gas with renewable energy provided by heat pumps.
The traditional installation, which in most cases uses fossil fuels, is used as a back-up. Most of the time, the heating energy is provided by an air-to-water heat pump, which draws the calories from the ambient air outside, or by a geothermal heat pump, which draws the calories from the ground. The big advantage is that this energy is free. The downside is that, in the event of extreme cold, the heat pump will not provide enough heat, due to the lack of exploitable calories in the environment.
A heat pump will therefore perform better in the sunniest parts of the country. In the coldest areas, the use of auxiliary energy will be indispensable.