There are many different ways to heat your home.
When you think about it, there are many ways to heat your home when the cold weather decides to hit. Keeping you, your family, and your home warm is important when the temperature is freezing outside. Here are seven different ways to stay warm and heat up your home during the cold weather:
1. Central Warm Air Furnace
A furnace works by blowing heated air through ducts that deliver the warm air to rooms throughout the house via air registers or grills. It can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil. Inside a gas or oil furnace, the fuel is mixed with air and then burned. The flames heat a metal heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to air. Air is pushed through the heat exchanger by the “air handler’s” furnace fan. It is then forced through the ductwork downstream of the heat exchanger. Heating system controls regulate when the various components of the heating system turn on and off.
Most North American households depend on a central furnace to provide heat. The most important control from your standpoint is the thermostat. This turns the distribution center on and off to keep you comfortable. In the United States, furnace efficiency is regulated by minimum AFUE. This stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE estimates seasonal efficiency, averaging peak and part load situations. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace is.
2. Steam or Hot Water System
Steam is a highly efficient heat transfer fluid. It has a low mass density and no temperature limitation. It is also fast and has great control possibilities. Even though steam is efficient, hot water systems/boilers are somewhat more efficient than steam boilers. There is currently a tendency to convert steam systems into hot water systems. This type of conversion is often proposed because the lack of expertise in steam system maintenance results in the fact that a large number of steam systems are under-performing. Finally, converting a steam system to hot water always implies a boiler replacement. Since the existing boiler is usually old, part of any savings observed after the conversion can be explained by the boiler upgrade. It’s important to keep in mind that this is an investment that can benefit the steam system also.
3. Heat Pump
What is a heat pump? A heat pump is a device that transfers heat energy from a source of heat to a destination called a “heat sink.” Heat pumps are designed to move thermal energy in the opposite direction of spontaneous heat transfer. It does this by absorbing heat from a cold space and releasing it to a warmer one. A heat pump uses a small amount of external power to accomplish the work of transferring energy from the heat source to the heat sink. When a heat pump is used for heating, it employs the same basic refrigeration-type cycle used by an air conditioner or refrigerator, but in the opposite direction. It releases heat into the conditioned space rather than the surrounding environment. In this use, heat pumps generally draw heat from the cooler external air or from the ground.
4. Floor, Wall, or Pipeless Furnace
This is space heating equipment that consists of a ductless combustor or resistance unit. It has an enclosed chamber where fuel is burned or where electrical-resistance heat is generated to warm the rooms of a building. A floor furnace is located below the floor. It delivers heated air to the room immediately above or to the room on each side. A wall furnace is installed in a partition or in an outside wall. This delivers heated air to the rooms on one or both sides of the wall. A pipeless furnace is installed in a basement and delivers heated air through a large register in the floor of the room or hallway immediately above.
5. Heating Stove
These offer heating efficiency by burning a variety of different fuel types such as gas, wood, or pellet fuel. Heating stoves provide unparalleled ambiance and traditional style. Generally, the appliance consists of a solid metal (usually cast iron or steel) closed fire chamber, a fire brick base, and an adjustable air control. The stove is connected by ventilating stove pipes to a suitable chimney or flue. It will fill with hot combustion gases once the fuel is ignited. The chimney or flue gases must be hotter than the outside temperature to ensure combustion gases are drawn out of the fire chamber and up the chimney. Many wood-burning stoves are engineered such that they can be converted to multi-fuel stoves with the addition of a grate.
6. Room Heater
Room/portable heaters can be an efficient way to supplement inadequate heating. Small space heaters are typically used when the main heating system is inadequate or when central heating is too costly to install or operate. In some cases, small space heaters can be less expensive to use if you only want to heat one room or supplement inadequate heating in one room. They can also boost the temperature of rooms used by individuals who are sensitive to the cold. Although most space heaters work by convection (the circulation of air in a room), some rely on radiant heating. Radiant heaters emit infrared radiation that directly heats objects and people within their line of sight. They are a more efficient choice when you will be in a room for only a few hours and can stay within the line of sight of the heater. They can also be more efficient when you will be using a room for a short period. This is because they save energy by directly heating the occupant of the room and the occupant’s immediate surroundings rather than the whole room.
Fireplaces and stoves help to combat high heating costs. You can reduce heating costs by turning down the central thermostat and zone heating the areas where you spend the most time with an energy efficient fireplace or stove. Some homeowners can reduce heating costs by 20-40 percent. Update your drafty masonry built wood-burning fireplace with an energy efficient fireplace insert. Professional installation can be completed in as little as six hours, and can make your fireplace up to 85 percent more efficient.
As you can see, there are many different ways to warm your home when the colder weather hits. Pick the one that best suits your home, family, and lifestyle.
With any of your plumbing and heating questions, do not hesitate to call Marv’s Plumbing and Heating at 307-316-7634. Check out our coupons and special offers page for a special that we are having regarding furnaces.