There are several types of heating systems that have been invented throughout the course of history. You have furnaces and boilers, wood and pellet-fuel heating, electric resistance heating, etc. Each has its own pros and cons, and in this article we will explore each of them for you to decide which best suits your needs.
- Furnaces and boilers. Furnaces and boilers are the most common heaters in most households in the US and are most relied on for heat. However, older models of these tend to be less efficient than newer models. The furnace or boiler’s efficiency is measured through the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. If your furnace of boiler is older than ten years, it is advisable that you have it replaced. Otherwise you can have it upgraded with the help of a good contractor.
- Wood and pellet-fuel heating. Wood heating has been used for a long time, but in recent years, it has been deemed an energy waster and air pollutant. Pellet-fuel on the other hand is compressed sawdust and other dry agricultural waste like corn kernel and wood chips. Some states now have policies for these because they greatly contribute to the atmosphere’s pollution. It must also be said that there are now more efficient ways of burning wood that would store more heat and be more environmentally friendly. Check for appliances that are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Electric resistance heating. This type of heating system has almost 100% of its power converted into heat, but you must take in to consideration the power conversion from coal or fuel that only converts 30% of its energy into electricity. This could actually be more expensive than other types of heating systems.
- Active solar heating. This type of heating is one of the most eco-friendly types of heating systems because it reduces your use of fuel-based sources of energy. In addition, some states offer tax exemptions or discounts for those who use active solar heating. Some companies that install the solar heater collector charge less if you want a bigger collector installed. It is a good incentive to save our environment, don’t you think?
- Radiant and small space heaters. These types of heaters distribute heat directly through floor boards or the walls. These are combined with other types of heaters, which are attached under the floor or to the wall. There are two types of radiant heaters, radiant air floors and hydronic (water) radiant floors. Radiant air floors are not as effective because they don’t keep much heat in the room, unlike the hydronic radiant floors, the hot water of which can be pumped through the pipes installed all over the house and can retain heat longer. Small space heaters on the other hand are the ones that are also called portable heaters, because they are used to only amplify the heat in a room when regular heating is not adequate.
A heater’s efficiency is solely dependent on its proper maintenance. If you have set your mind on the type of heating system that you will use, it is advisable that you research on how to take care of them, to repair them, to make them run efficiently and be environmentally friendly.