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Top 5 Most Economical Heating Systems for Your Home

May 8, 2012

When getting a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system it is important to make sure it is efficient. Try buying a system that is energy efficient and is approved by the appropriate authority. Simple alterations like changing the thermostat or sealing air ducts can improve your existing heating system. Here are the five most economical heating systems.

Wood and Pallet Burning

Wood has been used as a heating instrument since the discovery of fire. Nowadays, instead of burning logs of wood, small pellets made from saw dust, wood chips, agricultural crop waste, and other such materials are used more often. Wood and pellet burning appliances come in different sizes and can be large enough to heat up a 2000 square feet home.

Furnaces and Boilers

Furnaces and boilers are used more commonly in America. Furnaces heat air, while boilers heat water. Both provide air or steam through ducts or pipes. These are more suited for central heating purposes. You can control the heat of individual rooms by placing a thermostat in each room. If there is a furnace already installed, check the air filter every few months and get it changed if need be.

Solar Heating

Solar heating systems work on either air or water. Air is heated in an air collector where as water is heated in an anti freeze solution on a hydronic collector. The heat is distributed to the interior space or storage system once the solar radiation has been absorbed. Though it is the most environment friendly and cost effective heating method, it is limited to areas where the sun shines throughout the year.

Radiant Heating

In this heating system, heat is provided directly to the ceiling, floor or wall panels. This helps in keeping the room or house warm instead of making the air warm. It is most suitable for people with allergies. Radiant floor heating is very different from wall and ceiling heating.

Floor heating can be hydronic, electric or air-heated. It is best to use ceramic floor tiles because they allow the heat to come through without making the floor heat up. Wall and ceiling heating is usually electric. Some people however use hot water tubes, but leakage of these tubes is a major issue.

Portable Heaters

Portable heaters come in different sizes and are suitable for single rooms. Generally portable heaters are used when installing a new heating unit is costly, or the existing one is not providing adequate heat. Usually portable combustion heaters are vented or unvented. It is best to use vented heaters indoors.Unvented heaters can produce unwanted combustion products like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Electric space heaters are the only safe unvented heaters available for use.

Allan has been reviewing heating system and heaters at OO and has published numerous blog posts on how to save energy is the house. Aside from blogging, Allan has a strong interest in sustainability and environment issues.

Efficient Ways to Heat Your Home

January 11, 2010

Right now heating costs remain steady. However there is always the threat of another economic shift driving the price of heating oil and gas through the roof. That is why you should take steps now, to ensure that your home is energy efficient, so that you get the full use out of every dollar you spend to keep the place toasty.

Not sure about where to start? Hire an expert to conduct an energy audit of your home. These experts will start by measuring the efficiency of your heat pump or furnace, and examine your homes interior, and exterior to see just where cold air is entering your home. Even if your home was built relatively recently, you may be surprised to find out about the number of ways you can save on heating costs.

Many homes have gaps between their stone foundations and wooden frameworks. These gaps can create an effect that is similar to leaving a window partially open in the middle of winter. To seal these cracks, use spray foam insulation, a very cheap fix to a very expensive problem. (You can buy this product for $5 to $10 a can at a local home improvement or hardware store.)

Similar gaps often exist between the roofing and wooden framework of your house. Sealing these can be a little trickier, especially if you have heating duct-work that runs through the attic or upper story of your house. You may also find small gaps between heating ducts, and fixing these may cost you around $20.

Replacing the furnace may also be necessary, although a good tune-up may suffice to get a few more years out of a newer model. Although this can be expensive, you’ll soon find yourself glad you did – and the energy tax breaks provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may make this upgrade even more affordable!

If your hot water heater is more than 7-10 years old, consider replacing it. If it is a newer model, and is located in a cooler part of your house or an area that is frequently exposed to the cold, consider using an insulating jacket to keep the water hot while using less energy.

If your home is older, or has not been renovated, you may need to install energy-efficient windows and doors, or even renovate the exterior of your home to seal off the cold that has been draining your home’s furnace – and your bank account. This can be a lot more expensive than any other improvement we’ve suggested, but in the long run, the savings will be well worth your while.

Even if your heating costs are relatively low, take an afternoon to pinpoint areas of your house that have air leaks or use more energy than necessary. The extra savings will be well worth the hours you spend, and if you ever decide it’s time to sell your home, you’ll be very glad you did take the time for an energy audit! It’s a small price to pay for big savings.