Home Heating Systems
An ideal home is one with a good heating system especially those in colder areas. With a well-functioning heating system, families can live comfortably in their home without worrying about the cold weather outside. It is therefore advised that an efficient and cost-effective heating system be used in homes to keep families warm when necessary.
Heating consumes the biggest energy in most homes normally accounting for 35 to 50 percent of yearly energy bills in colder areas of the U.S. But there are ways to minimize heating energy use to save money and to help preserve the environment. The most important initial step is to choose an appropriate heating system with the help of skilled technicians. Start by requesting a home evaluation and heat loss estimation. Once this is done, you will get the necessary recommendations suited for your home.
A home heating system consists mainly of furnaces or structures where heat is generated and is fueled either by oil, gas or electricity. There are different kinds of heating systems – steam, hot water, forced warm air and electric. Their common feature is the thermostat or the control which signals a need for heat. When heat is needed, the thermostat turns on the heat producer which then warms the transfer medium either air, water or steam in the furnace or boiler. The heated air produced then goes through ducts while heated water or steam goes through pipes before moving on to the heat distributors in the living rooms.
Furnaces or heat exchangers take up much electricity to power their fan motors hence, choosing a fan motor with variable speed instead of the standard type is your best option to obtain great savings each year. You can check the website of the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association at
www.gamanet.org to learn about furnaces that are electrically efficient. Another tip is to select a furnace with just enough heating capacity for your home as most furnaces are oversized.
Furnaces come in different types such as hot water boilers, steam boilers, air source
heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and forced air heat systems. Boilers make use of either hot water or steam and condensing boilers are highly recommended if you live in an area with very cold climate. The most ideal boilers are those with built-in controls, low thermal mass, good insulation and consume less power. Power consumption, though, will depend on your local weather and home features.
Heat pumps work similar to an air conditioner only that they can provide heat as well to the house during winter time. There are two types – the air source and ground source heat pumps. Air source heat pumps are appropriate for use in homes situated in locations with mild or warm climates.
Ground source heat pumps, on the other hand, are best for both warm and cold climates and are more efficient than the air source type. This is because their heat source comes from underground where temperatures are almost constant all year round. However, homeowners should know that ground source heat pumps are more costly to set up and are not very common today.
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