When you talk about winter warmth, most people think of gas furnaces like the Lennox®SLP98V, the quietest and most efficient gas furnace you can buy (in 2015).* But furnaces aren't the only method of keeping warm. In fact, Lennox offers a wide variety of solutions that provide heat for different needs.
In the traditional whole-home heating and cooling system, an air conditioner provides cooling during the summer, while a furnace provides heat during the winter. Depending on where you live, a heat pump can be a smart way to provide energy-efficient warmth, especially during transitional seasons.
A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that can work in reverse. During hot weather, it keeps the home cool by gathering heat from indoors and moving it outdoors. However, during cool weather, the heat pump is capable of reversing the process, taking heat from outdoors and transferring it indoors to keep you warm.
Heat Pumps and Dual Fuel
Heat Pumps can help maintain energy efficiency during cool weather, because in many parts of the country, electricity is cheaper than gas. Because of this fact, many homes can benefit from the use of a dual-fuel system, which pairs a heat pump with a gas furnace.
During cool or transitional weather, the heat pump keeps you warm. Then, when the weather becomes too cold for the heat pump to work effectively, the system switches to the gas furnace for warmth. When the temperature falls somewhere between cool and cold, the system will automatically switch between the electric heat pump and the gas furnace based on whichever is most energy efficient for the weather.
For many homes in northern climates, steam heat is the preferred method of keeping warm. Boilers work by circulating steam throughout a network of pipes in the home. This steam can then be piped through radiators, which provide ambient heat without airflow. Or, in other configurations, the steam travels through a heat exchanger where it transfers its heat to air that is then circulated throughout the home. For these homes, Lennox offers a full line of boilers.
Many boilers provide a smart benefit when used in homes: free hot water. Since the water must already be heated to generate steam, it can also be repurposed to provide the hot water needed for bathing, laundry and washing dishes.
Many homes in northern climates aren't equipped with natural gas lines. Instead, they rely on heating oil to provide warmth. For these homes, furnaces like the Lennox SLO185V furnace can provide energy-efficient heat. For quieter operation and more even heating, the SLO185V uses a variable-speed fan motor to gently circulate warm air.
In areas where space is at a premium, such as apartments or condominiums, a packaged unit is a smart choice for heating a home. Available in either dual-fuel, heat pump or gas/electric configurations, a packaged unit combines all of a home's heating and cooling equipment into one enclosure.
Dual-fuel packaged units combine an electric heat pump and a gas furnace. During hot weather, the heat pump functions as an air conditioner. During cool weather, the heat pump reverses itself to provide heat. Then, during colder weather, the gas furnace takes over to provide warmth. During transitional weather, the system will automatically switch between the heat pump and furnace to provide warmth, based on whichever is most cost-efficient.
Heat pump packaged units, frequently found in warmer climates, use a heat pump to provide both cooling in the summer and warmth in the winter. Gas/electric heat pumps, on the other hand, use an air conditioner for summer cooling, and a gas furnace for winter heat.
Typically found in hot, southern climates, air handlers are frequently paired with air conditioners to provide cooling. Essentially, an air handler is a large fan that moves air throughout a home, often including built-in air filtration to maintain indoor air quality.
Since warmer southern climates usually have no need for heating, air handlers don't typically offer heating capabilities. However, air handlers like the Lennox® CBX32MV, a quiet and efficient air handler for virtually any installation, offer optional electric heating that can be activated when unseasonably cool weather strikes.
Lennox Mini Split Systems are an ideal solution for areas of your home that can be difficult to heat, and where running new ductwork is not a practical option. A mini-split system with a heat pump is essentially a miniature heating and cooling system designed to serve one, two, or three areas of a home.
Inside, an unobtrusive ventilation unit mounts near the ceiling, providing airflow. Outside the home, an outdoor unit is used to either absorb or radiate heat, so that the indoor ventilation unit can blow either warm or cold air. A mini-split system requires no ductwork, and uses only one small hole to connect the indoor and outdoor components.
Garages can be extremely cold spaces during winter. To help preserve your comfort, Lennox garage heaters provide a smart solution for continuous warmth. Available in a wide variety of sizes and heat output levels, Lennox garage heaters combine a fan with a heat source, either natural gas or propane, to circulate plenty of warm air in one area.
Lennox garage heaters are like a furnace that blows directly into the room, without the need for ductwork. They not only provide comfort when working on your vehicle, but can also help reduce vehicle wear and tear by eliminating the damage caused by repeated cold-starts. They can also help preserve belongings that are stored in your garage, and provide comfort for pets that live in garage spaces.
No matter what your heating needs, Lennox has the right solution that will keep you comfortable, and energy efficient. Be ready for winter, no matter what. And no matter where.
*Based on sound pressure levels during steady-state, high-fire and low-fire operation of Lennox SLP98UH070XV36B and leading competitive units as of July 2013 at mid-point temperature rise and minimum external static pressure when set up per Section 4.4.4 of AHRI 260-2012. Based on AFUE efficiency rating of Lennox SLP98UH090XV60C and leading competitive units listed in AHRI directory as of March 2015. Efficiency ratings established per test standard ANSI/ASHRAE 103-2007.