Effective Ways To Heat Your Home
Are thinking about changing your current heating system or building a new home and want to install the most efficient home heating system possible?
Choosing the right heating source can pay long-term dividends in terms of both operating costs and comfort. To make the right choice, a basic understanding of the different types of systems is required.
Here are the Main Heat Sources Available
Electric resistance heating is 100% energy efficient in the sense that all the incoming electric energy is converted to heat. However, most electricity is produced from coal, gas, or oil generators that convert only about 30% of the fuel’s energy into electricity. Therefore, electricity in most cases will be the most expensive and environmentally wasteful heat source.
- Natural Gas Heating has traditionally been the cheapest conventional heating fuel. It is substantially cheaper than electricity and often cheaper than oil, although prices fluctuate and oil can sometimes be less expensive than gas. Oil is losing in popularity because of the need to have a storage tank, the environmental risk and the unpleasant odors from an oil furnace or tank. As far as efficiency, natural gas and oil are close.
- Wood heat can be inexpensive if you have access to free firewood; and, wood is energy-efficient if you have an energy efficient wood stove, wood pellet stove, or fireplace insert, and it is environmentally safe if your wood stove or insert burns cleanly. However, an open fireplace can actually make your house colder rather than warmer because the open fireplace when burning will pull a lot of warm air from inside your house up the chimney; that in turn will pull cool air in through leaks in your windows, doors, and exterior walls. In this case, fireplaces can provide ambiance, but they’re not a good heating source.
- Solar heating is ranked as the cheapest in terms of installation plus operation because you don’t actually have to buy any specialized equipment; you just need a home designed and built to take advantage of the sunlight’s ability to be converted into heat. Solar will not work if you have tall trees or other buildings that block the sun from the solar panels. This would not be a good choice for heating if the trees are on your neighbor’s property and your neighbor doesn’t want to cut their trees down so you can go solar.
The most efficient home heating option is to make sure your home is well insulated and air-sealed as possible to prevent heat escape, and to use as efficient, cheap, or low-carbon a source of energy as possible