When cold months arrive, proper heating is extremely important in every household. But ways to heat our homes are various, so here’s a quick guide on which types of heating are available to you.
1. Central warm-air furnace
This type of furnace works by blowing heated air through ducts that distribute it into the rooms. The furnace can be powered by electricity, fuel oil, or natural gas. The fuel oil or gas is mixed with air, then burned, which heats a metal heat exchanger – that’s where the heat gets transferred to the air. The air is then pushed to the heat exchanger by the fan and through the ductwork. The controls inside this heating system regulate the time when components will turn on and off.
2. Heat pump
A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from its source to a heat sink. A heat pump pushes this thermal energy into the opposite direction of its natural movement. It does it by absorbing heat from a cold area and releasing it into a warmer one. It needs a small amount of external power to transfer the heat to the heat sink. In other words, it does the same thing as an air-conditioner or refrigerator does but only in the opposite direction.
3. Floor, wall, or pipeless furnace
This is space heating equipment consisting of a ductless combustor (the resistance unit), which has an enclosed chamber where the fuel in question is burned. Alternatively, it’s the place where electrical-resistance heat gets generated and provides heat for the rooms.
A floor furnace is placed below the floor, delivering the heat to the room above it or to the rooms on each side. On the other hand, a wall furnace is located in a partition or inside an outside wall, delivering the heat to the rooms of both sides of the wall. Lastly, a pipeless furnace is located in a basement, delivering the heated air through a big register in the floor of a room or the hallway that’s right above it.
4. Biomass heating systems
A biomass or wood heating system is an alternative to using electricity, gas or oil. This system burns organic material, such as wood pellets and logs, and provides heat, as well as hot water. Many homeowners buy a wood-burning stove for the living room but it’s also possible to connect it to a boiler to heat hot water and the rest of the rooms.
5. Gas central heating
Gas central heating in your home is connected to the national gas grid, and the gas-fired type of this central heating system is the cheapest option available. If you choose an efficient, quality boiler, you will save a significant amount of money in the long run. So, check out the best boiler brands and find out which brands to avoid. An additional trick to minimize the costs is to use heating controls that will reduce the amount of energy when you don’t need it. In case a problem with the system occurs, don’t try to fix it on your own but immediately contact gas heating repair service to avoid further damage or hurting yourself.
6. Room heater
These portable heaters are an efficient method when you need to supplement poor heating. These small room heaters are usually used when the main heating system is inadequate or if it’s too expensive to use it. In some cases, they can be a cheaper option if you need to heat only one room. They can also increase the temperature in a room for people who are very sensitive to cold. The majority of space heaters work by circulating the air in a room, some work through radiant heating. Radiant room heaters emit infrared radiation, heating the people and objects in their vicinity. They are the most efficient option if you need to be in a room for only a couple of hours and can stay in its vicinity. This is because they save energy through not heating the whole room but only the occupant of the room.
7. Heating stove
Heating stoves burn various fuel types, including gas, pellet fuel, and wood. They are very popular due to their contribution to the ambiance and decor of the room. They usually consist of a solid metal (mostly steel or cast iron) closed fire chamber, a fire brick base, and air control (usually adjustable). The stove is connected to a chimney or a flue through ventilating stove pipes. When the fuel is ignited, the combustion gases fill the chimney/flue. These gases should be hotter than the outside temperature so that combustion gases are sucked out of the fire chamber through the chimney/flue. Many stoves that use wood are made in a specific way so that they can be converted into multi-fuel stoves if a grate is added.
8. Renewable heat
You can also generate your own energy in various ways, reducing your carbon footprint, for example, through a solar water heating system. It will also mean you are less dependent on energy sources that are in demand on a global scale, meaning they will also be much more expensive in the future.
Alternatively, you can generate electricity from wind turbines or solar panels. Most commonly, homeowners install the panels to power electrical appliances inside their homes and to charge their electric vehicles. However, it’s possible to use that electricity to power your central heating system if you choose so.
Heating your home offers many options but there are only one or two that will suit your home and your budget most. Considering every option carefully will help you make the right call.