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A Comparative Analysis of Residential Heating Systems

Format On Demand: Online
Offered by Propane Education & Research Council
Category Energy and atmosphere

Architects, builders, contractors and homeowners today face a myriad of options for home heating systems. Traditional furnaces andb oilers, high efficiency models, heat pumps (both air-source andground-source), and even dual-fuel systems are all options. Sort ing o ut the best choice for a home, or location, requires taking a close look at system costs, efficiency levels, energy rates, c omfort l evels and the severity of the climate and any applicable incentives including tax credits. This learning unit is the resu lt of a research study performed to identify the best options for residential heating across all U.S. climate zones, based on the aforemen tioned variables. This on-demand, online course is self-paced and features a pre-recorded narrative that se rves as the instructor. This allows learners to read along with the narrator and listen to the information; similar to typical livei nstructio n. After completing the course a 10-question quiz must be completed. At least 8 of 10 questions must be answered correctly to earn credit for the learning unit. Start-to-finish this course should take between 75 and 85 minutes to complete. Learners may wi sh t o spend additional time to review concepts prior to completing the quiz. A certificate of completion can be printed for self-rep o rting and record-keeping needs.


  • Describe general trends when comparing different residential heating systems and how they compare in terms of first costs, operating costs, carbon emissions, and paybacks.
  • Describe how carbon emissions differ from various heating systems which are fueled by different sources of energy.
  • Compare and contrast trade-offs involved in specifying high efficiency HVAC equipment for residential projects in terms of payback periods.
  • Describe where certain types of HVAC systems may be most apprpriate to specify based on factors such as climate, energy costs, first costs, installation costs and emissions, among others.


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CE Hours 1.0
AIA/CES (LU) 1.0