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What is the Best Way to Heat Your Home?


Jan 07, 2020

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When it comes to supplying your home with sufficient heat, you want to make sure to choose what’s most efficient and reliable. There are several different factors to keep in mind when deciding what kind of heating system will offer the best way to heat your home.

Here are several different heating methods for you to consider:

Central Heating Methods

Central heating is a fairly simple concept. You have some sort of heating system in an accessible place in your home that works to supply heat to the entire home. They are often fueled by electricity, gas, or oil fuels. When properly maintained, central heating is an easy and efficient method, so much so that it is considered by many to be the best way to heat your home.

Here are different types of central heating methods:

Furnace

Most North American homes depend on a central furnace heating method to supply their home with heat. Some would even consider this to be the best way to heat your home. This piece of equipment can be powered by electricity, gas, or oil, though electricity is often the preferred modern method. A furnace works by blowing heated air through ducts in order to deliver warmth to rooms via grills or registers.

In order to control the degree of heat, home owners should turn to a simple thermostat. This device is the  command center that controls the temperature of the home.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps transfer thermal energy from a heat source to a place called a “heat sink” absorbing heat from cold outdoor air and then distributing that warmer air throughout your home. 

The heat pump heating method works a lot like a refrigerator, just backwards. Using the same refrigeration-type cycle that an AC unit or a refrigerator uses, heat pumps supply heat rather than cooling by pushing air through the cycle in the opposite direction. Using a small amount of power, a heat pump draws heat from external cold air or the ground and transfers it into heat, releasing that warmth into a space needing conditioning rather than in an open environment.

Boiler

A boiler is essentially a big fire supplied with a continuous stream of natural gas so it’s ready to heat your home to the degree you desire at the simple shift of an electric switch.

Whenever you want your home heated, you simply turn on your boiler, which opens a valve that allows gas to enter and combust in the boiler chamber. The heat that results from combustion then transfers to a heat exchanger pipe that carries water, causing the water inside the pipe to get hot.

Since this heat exchanger pipe is connected to a larger pipe system throughout your home, all the remaining pipes start flowing with hot water, too. The hot water continuously passes through the pipe system to different radiators, which deliver heat to certain rooms in your home. As heat is released into your home, the water will begin to cool. The cool water then returns to the boiler where it is reheated and the process repeats until the boiler is turned off.

Most new builds or recently updated homes aren’t equipped with the boiler method since radiators are often less efficient than a furnace, however, they are still common in older homes.

Localized Heating Methods

While perhaps more traditional, localized heating methods are far less efficient than central heating methods. Outdated homes might use a localized heating to supply heat to their home, but in most cases, localized heating  is used in addition to centralized heating. They are often used to lower heating expenses.

Here are some common localized heating methods:

Fireplace

Fireplaces were once used as the sole source of heat in a home. Today, this traditional heating method is mostly used as a decorative home accent or as a means for combating high heating costs. You can reduce your central heating costs by supplementing some of your heat with a fireplace or wood stove.

However, if your home’s fireplace is outdated, it may be a source of heat loss, resulting in increasing energy costs. Consider upgrading your fireplace or stove with a more efficient insert — upgrades are capable of increasing your fireplace's efficiency up to 85 percent.

Portable Heaters

Space heaters are an excellent way to provide some supplemental heating, but it would be entirely unrealistic to expect them to heat an entire home. Small, portable space heaters are most commonly used when the central heating system is inadequate, a fireplace is not present, or it is too costly to run a central heating system regularly.

Space heaters can save on heating bills, but only if they’re used to heat smaller spaces or a singular room. Space heaters are a wonderful heating method for anyone who tends to be more sensitive to the cold since they work to direct heat to a particular user rather than an entire space.

Still unsure which option provides the best way to heat your home?

If you’re not clear on what heating method is best for you and your home, call in the pros. CroppMetcalfe’s 5-Star Technicians are here to help answer any questions you may have and find a heating solution that works for your home. Call our HVAC experts at 703-698-8855 or schedule a service appointment online today.


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