If you’re a homeowner living in a harsh climate, getting the right heating system is a big deal. It can determine whether or not you spend long winters huddled up near the fire trying to block out drafts or luxuriating in your well-heated home without a care. There are a ton of different aspects to consider when thinking about what home heating system is going to work best for your home, especially if you want your home heating bills to stay low. Whether you’ve gone to thinkheat.com to research your options or are trying to stick with something as low-cost and non-labor intensive as possible, knowing your options is the best way to start designing the home heating system that’s going to work for your house. From boilers to furnaces to heat pumps, here are a few systems to choose from if you’re looking to stay warm and dry for many winters to come.
If you have an older home, it most likely came installed with either a boiler unit or a furnace. Boilers are those large, cylindrical capsules that will come installed in your basement to provide gas heat through your home using vents or an electrical system. Many homes use boilers to circulate heat in a more fluid way without the use of pipes or ducts. If you’re someone who has allergies or is sensitive to dust particles floating around in the air, this is a great incentive to spring for boiler heat. However, boilers are costly to install if your home doesn’t already come with one. They also require a fair amount of maintenance and will be affected in the event of a gas leak. If you don’t check your boiler to make sure it’s well taken care of, it could end up exploding and flooding your basement. However, with the proper care, you’ll be able to avoid this situation easily.
Furnace heat is one of the older home heating systems around. Using pipes and fuel to filter air through ducts in your home, furnaces allow a heated air supply to circulate easily through larger homes with many stories. While in the past furnace systems were considered to be a less energy-efficient way of heating your home, technological advances have made furnaces far more eco-friendly and less costly to deal with. Since the price of fuel does tend to fluctuate, however, you may end up paying more on heating some years than others. The trick to using a furnace to your advantage is to get a model that’s got a high AFUE value, which will ensure that you’re getting an efficient machine that won’t cost a fortune to use over time. You can also use your machine to cool and clear out stuffy air in your home. Since ducts provide a two-way passage, your furnace can help you move air through your home easily no matter the season. However, if you have any allergies or sensitivities, the presence of ducts in your home could create an unpleasant experience during the winter or spring, when pollen and other allergens start causing issues for you and your family.
Heat pumps are among the most efficient ways to heat and cool your home no matter what the climate. Because heat pumps use natural sources to provide your home with hot or cool air, they’re relatively low-cost and rely only on thermal heat to make your home toasty. Heat pumps can be made even more efficient by add-ons that transfer any “excess” to heat your water supply. You don’t have to worry about gas leaks or allergens with heat pumps, and they work to heat and cool your home without your having to reconfigure your machine. All you have to do is flip a switch, and your home heating system easily becomes a home cooling system. However, because heat pumps draw from the outside environment, it can be difficult to create heat in freezing temperatures or in very hot, moist climates, making heat pumps a less viable option if you live in a climate that deals in weather extremes.
Using a boiler system, radiant eat allows heated air to come up through different areas in the home, such as the floorboards, ceiling, or walls. This creates a more immersive way of heating the home, rather than counting on one area to circulate the heated air throughout your entire room. Radiant heat is a great option for the bedroom or bathroom floors where you need a bit of extra heat during the winter.