In recent years, home heating systems have drastically evolved since the days of the original humble fireplace. Back in the old days, the home heating options were quite basic and limited. It may be shocking to think that people didn’t use to have modern furnaces or smart thermostats in their homes, which are the home heating systems that we now take for granted.
Fortunately, technological advances have made our home heating options more efficient than ever. You are probably familiar with the traditional furnaces, but there are also new technologies designed to heat up specific parts of the house. When you combine these different home heating systems together, you can achieve the perfect temperature in every corner of your house.
The following are six of the most efficient home heating options that you can use during winter:
The furnace is an essential home heating system that needs no introduction. You will likely find a modern furnace unit in nearly every household. Furnaces are among the most common heating systems for homes, partly because they can be powered by a variety of fuels. Natural gas, electricity and fuel oil are among the most popular energy source choices due to their efficiency.
While there are different types of furnaces, they all work on the same premise. Heated air is blown through the ducts, which will deliver and distribute the heat to different rooms in your house.
People tend to use the term “boiler” and “furnace” interchangeably, even though they are two different types of heating systems. While a furnace carries heat in warm air, a boiler distributes the heat in hot water. The heat is then released through radiators or any other capable device in the various rooms throughout the house. Once the water loses all the heat, it returns to the boiler to be reheated.
Residential boilers mostly use heating oil or natural gas for fuel. Instead of a duct system and a fan, a boiler relies on a pump to circulate the heated water to radiators via pipes. There are also hot water systems that circulate water through plastic tubing on the floor. The most important controls in boilers include the aqua stats, the thermostats, and the valves for regulating circulation and water temperature.
Fireplaces may seem like an old-fashioned home heating option compared to the newer technologies. However, fireplaces are still very prevalent fixtures in many homes. During winter, many homeowners enjoy cozying up to their fireplaces with a comfy blanket and a hot beverage in hand.
Apart from providing heat, the gas and wood fireplaces offer a warm glow that enhances the room’s décor. Fireplaces can be improved by installing a good chimney damper, a tight-sealing glass door, and a source of outside air.
4. Solar Heating
There are two primary types of solar heating systems. The passive solar heating is dependent on solar gain. In this case, solar heat passes through skylights, windows, floors and walls. These are designed to collect, reflect, store and distribute solar heat energy in the winter, while rejecting it in the summer. Passive solar heating is an excellent supplement to the standard heating systems.
Active solar heating is also used to supplement central heating systems, although it is a less common choice. The solar collector uses the heat from the sun to warm liquids and air. When the material is thoroughly heated, the heat is transferred to the living area through a blower or a radiant heat system.
5. Underfloor Heating
Also known as a radiant heating system, underfloor heating does exactly as its name implies. This home heating system is installed underneath the floors and radiates heat to the above occupants, furniture and materials. A benefit of underflooring heating is that it remains concealed, which could improve the aesthetic of your living quarters. In floor heating also provides more comfort over a forced air system due to the even distribution of heat from the floor up.
However, underfloor heating systems also have several drawbacks. The installation is tedious, since it requires removing and replacing the floor coverings. It also requires expensive system designers and installers, so this is not the most affordable heating option for homeowners.
6. Pellet Stoves
Pellet stoves were once the appliance of choice for heating homes. Interestingly, they are making a comeback due to the cleaner, higher-efficiency burning of pellet stoves. The pellets, which give this heating system its name, are usually manufactured from wood-based compounds. These compounds include organic materials, such as corn husks or nutshells.
Pellet stoves are one of the cleanest home heating options on the market. They are also easy to install compared to wood-burning stoves or traditional fireplaces. However, a drawback to this heating system is its maintenance requirements. The pellet stove must be filled daily, cleaned weekly, and inspected annually.