Different Ways to Heat a Home
Heating an Arbors home may feel like a simple decision with only one or two options. In fact, there are a variety of choices homeowners can select, ranging from the traditional to the trendy and modern. Home heating can be the largest part of a property's energy expenses, and many systems cost several-thousand dollars to purchase and install. As such, it is important for homeowners to make the most practical and effective choice. Here are five options people can consider.
Furnaces are the most common form of heating in the U.S. Also called forced-air heating, this appliance uses energy to produce heat. The heating element warms the air cycled through the machine, which is then pushed through ductwork to vents in every room of the home. Most furnaces use a fuel like heating oil or natural gas, but some rely exclusively on electricity. Since the burning fuel creates a byproduct, which can be toxic, the furnace needs to be ventilated outside the home.
2. Direct Heat
Direct heat is the oldest form of heating a home, and it can be relatively limited as a result. With direct heating, the heat source warms the room directly. Its ability to raise the temperature of the rest of the house through heating is usually insufficient. This means homeowners might need to install several direct heating elements throughout the house. Common direct heating types include:
- baseboard heaters
- space heaters
- wood or pellet stoves
Since the heat produced is immediately present, there is little to protect people from burns outside of intentional care. This means homeowners have to keep the area surrounding the direct heater clear, to avoid the possibility of burns or fire.
Anyone who has lived in an older building is probably familiar with a boiler. This piece of equipment heats water instead of air, as a furnace would. The boiler contains a tank, which heats the water. Like furnaces, boilers usually run on natural gas or heating oil. That water is sent through the plumbing to faucets and radiators. Although furnaces are generally meant for smaller spaces like a single-family home, boilers can be large enough to support the needs of a multi-family apartment building.
4. Geothermal Heat Pumps
For decades, homeowners have thought heat pumps to be generally intended for regions with a mild winter. However, geothermal heat pumps can work for almost any climate. Because the equipment draws warmth from the relatively constant temperature of the earth, it can extract more heat even in the coldest winters. This heating type tends to be one of the most expensive for the home, largely because it has a complicated installation and requires digging underground. In exchange, homeowners get a heat source using a fraction of the energy of a furnace or boiler, and longer-lasting equipment.
5. Radiant Heating
Radiant heating is a current trend gaining traction, particularly in new construction. Radiant heating is a little like direct heating because it heats the room specifically. The difference is the heat source, usually tubes carrying hot water or air, sits inside the walls or under the flooring. The result is a warm floor without any risk of burning when people touch it.
Heating the home requires careful consideration before homeowners make an investment. By researching these common home heating types, people can make a decision to keep them warm all winter long.