Trade Out Gas and Fuel Oil

When considering taking steps to become more energy efficient, think in terms of investment. Trading out your gas furnace and water heater is a great energy efficiency investment that will also increase the value of your building or home. 

Most furnaces have a useful life of 15-20 years, and most boilers will last 20-30 years. Heating systems that are old, worn out, or inefficient will have a shortened lifespan or higher repair costs. The most cost effective solution may be to replace it with a new high-efficiency model.

The most common equipment used for heating homes is a furnace, which heats air and distributes it throughout the home. Furnaces generally heat air by burning a fuel (usually natural gas, propane, or fuel oil).


Electric furnaces are a good option for those who don’t have a natural gas line. It requires less installation cost and is highly effective. 

Heat pumps are a two-in-one system as it offers both heating and cooling. Heat pumps are efficient in terms of energy consumption during winter although in extreme cold weather they can sometimes struggle.

Radiant heaters are any system that heats by raising the temperature of the objects in the rooms rather than generating heated air through vents. 

Geothermal heat pumps are the best option for those who are after energy saving with great comfort all year-round.

When selecting a new water heater for your home, choose a water heating system that will not only provide enough hot water but also that will do so energy efficiently, saving you money. 


Tankless water heaters provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters.

Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly for providing hot water. 

Solar water heaters use the sun’s heat to provide hot water. 

Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use a home’s space heating system to heat water. 

Another incentive? Minnesota Power offers several rebates when upgrading to high-efficiency home appliances. Click here to find out more about these rebates.

For more information on home heating systems—including maintenance and repair tips and when to replace units—see the Home Heating section of the Home Energy Guide.

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