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What You Need To Know About Popular Home Heating Options

Choosing the right heating solution for your home is important. Different systems are more efficient than others, but those less-efficient systems may be more effective at successfully heating your home on cold nights. If you are in need of a new heating option for your home, check out these five options to decide which is best for you.

Gas/Electric Furnace

Gas and electric furnaces are the fastest and most effective way to heat your home. Simply turn the dial, and the heating element heats the air and starts sending it throughout the house. While gas furnaces are more efficient than electric furnaces, they are still one of the least efficient ways to heat your home. One reason is because they rely on ducts to carry the air throughout the home. This gives the air time to cool and escape before it reaches you. About 20 to 30 percent of the air in home heating ducts escapes. To improve energy efficiency, seal leaks and insulate the ducts in non-heated spaces, such as the attic.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heat can use electric heating coils or tubes filled with heated water, but electric heating coils are expensive to operate, making them a poor option to heat your entire home. Radiant heat that uses water, however, can be extremely energy-efficient. It also doesn't create the cold spots you get with a furnace. On the downside, however, radiant heating will never get your home as warm as a furnace, and it takes time for radiant heat systems to heat your home.

Heat Pump

A heat pump is the most efficient heating option mentioned so far because it uses little energy to operate. Switching from an electric furnace to a heat pump could reduce your heating costs by 50 percent. Another advantage of heat pumps is that they can operate in reverse to cool your home during the summer. Heat pumps, however, don't actually heat the air. They simply move air around to heat or cool your home. As a result, they aren't as effective as other heating options, making them a better choice for people who live in mild climates.

Active Solar Heating

Active solar heating uses flat glass panels filled with liquid-filled coils. As the sun beats down on these coils, it heats the water inside. The water can then be used in a radiant heating system in your house. Because it uses free energy from the sun to heat the water, active solar heating is extremely energy-efficient and cheap. Of course, active solar heating panels are expensive to install, and they aren't great in climates that don't get a lot of sun.

Passive Solar Heating

Passive solar heating also uses the sun to heat your home but in a much different way. With passive solar heating, your house is designed to capture as much sunlight as possible and keep it. A greenhouse is a good example of passive solar heating. This can be a very efficient way to heat your home, but you can't really add passive solar heating features to a house that is already built. Good passive solar heating features are found in every aspect of the house, so you need to start installing them as the house is built.  

There are many great ways to heat your home, but they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. While one system may work for the family down the street, it may be a terrible option for you. For more information about heating options for your home, contact a heating specialist in your area today to get a quote and get more info on the heating option that will be right for you.