Winter is on its last stretch. Temperatures are still below freezing in Ohio, Michigan , Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and the rest of the northern states. One of the biggest expenses during winter time is heating costs. In order to save money and energy one must seek alternative ways to heat their home.
Conventional heating systems are of various types, depending on the energy source available and the space to be heated. Often times it involves the burning of fossil fuels to generate heat . The heat is used to heat pipes which in turn heats the home. This is called a central heating system. The boiler , heat pump or furnace creates heat that will be distributed through a home. The only problem is that these system take up a lot of space. Also the cylinder needs proper insulation in order to keep the water hot enough . Heating is a long process and requires a constant stream of water.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal hat pumps harness the power of earth’s core to efficiently heat homes during the winter. Underground temperature ranges between 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C) throughout the entire year. The overall price of a geothermal heat pump is greater than a standard sir heater. The installation process is intensive however system lifespan is 25 years.
Heating Oil has become more popular in recent years. Heating oil generates more heat compared to natural gas. A major problem with heating oils is their sulfur content. When heating oil is burned particulate matter is created.Particulate matter is a product of burning heating oils that can cause a myriad of health problems. New York City’s Clean Heat Program has worked to promote federal clean air standards. As a result New York City Residential Buildings use lighter heating oils to reduce pollution. Single and multifamily homes can burn biodiesel fuel. This is not only economical but less taxing on the environment.
Pellet stoves are efficient and offer clean heat. They are CO-2 neutral and the integrated computer system allows for clean burning. Pellets are made from plant matter like corn husks or nut shells. They are superior to fireplaces as pellet stoves ate easy to install. Pellet stoves are easy to operate with automatic ignition. The major drawback is the maintenance and sound of the ventilator and the auger motor. The unit needs to be filled everyday and clean it weekly.
Solar energy and other renewable energy sources are here to stay. There are two types of solar heating. Passive and Active heating. Passive solar heating is when sunlight passes through windows and provides heat for the property. The heat is contained in a floor covering. Active solar heating uses sunlight to warm a radiant heat system. Solar systems are becoming more affordable as the technology continues to improve. In fact some states like Arizona allow tax incentives for solar energy systems.
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant heat flooring is nothing new. Romans and Ancient Chinese both had floor heating in their homes. Invented by the ancient Romans but perfected by Frank Lloyd Wright radiant floor heating allows comfort in winter time. There are two types of under floor heating.They are electric (heat via electric wires) and hydronic (heat via hot water tubes), both of which are buried underneath the floor. Electric radiant floor heating is more cost effective to install than hydronic heating systems. Yet utility bills can be high if you factor in electricity consumption. Electric radiant floor heating should be limited to smaller area. Hydronic underfloor heating is more expensive to install but the cost of heating water tubes is very affordable. If you have a larger home hydronic underfloor heating is the best bet for your home. Floor heating is more efficient than boilers. Heat isn’t lost to surrounding locations. Heat radiates from the floor and allows warmth to be felt at lower temperatures compared to the traditional forced air heating system.Installation of under floor heating can be tedious as it requires replacement of floor coverings. Stone tiles work great with radiant floor heating. This is because stone ,concrete or ceramic tile conducts heat better than wood flooring. Wood can be warped due to temperature changes. Vinyl ,plastic and carpet flooring don’t heat your home efficiently with radiant floor heating.If you are ailing from allergies , underfloor heating improves air quality. Unlike forced air heating , under floor heating doesn’t spread dust or other allergens in your home. There are few drawbacks with underfloor heating. Electric radiant floor heating has a risk of fire while hydronic radiant floor heating has a risk of leaks. These risks are no different than any other home system in your home.
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