With the wide variety of heating options available, the sky is the limit when it comes to choices for the next heating system for your home. While options are great, we also know that they can be overwhelming at times. The main factors to keep in mind are affordability, efficiency and type. The latter is important to notate since some homes may not be adequately equipped to handle a particular type of unit. Here is a primer on the different types of options available to you as you evaluate what makes most sense for your particular needs.
Gas furnaces typically use either natural gas or propane to generate heat. The decision to use either natural gas or propane is usually persuaded by the availability of one type over the other. One of the benefits of using a natural gas furnace is that it is friendlier to the environment since it emits fewer greenhouse gases.
While oil heaters may require a longer period of time to heat up in comparison to a fan heater, they do have the capability of keeping a room heated for quite some time, even after the heater is turned off. They are also an affordable option when looking at not only the purchase price but also the costs associated with setup and installation.
Ease in installation is one of the primary reasons people opt for an electric heater, especially when in dire need of heating (perhaps due to a malfunction in their old system). With an electric heater, all the energy funneled into the unit is converted into heating your home, and thus, 100 percent efficient.
Heat pumps are able to heat your home, as well as perform a reverse cycle where heat is pumped out of your home. They are a great option for homeowners who are looking for a system that combines both a cooling and heating functionality.
With a radiant heating unit, there is less circulation of air inside of the room that is actually using the system. As a result, there is less of a spread in airborne particles, making it an ideal option for those who suffer from allergies.
Solar heating systems are the most environmentally friendly options available on the marketplace today. Front-end installation costs are generally higher; however, there are substantial long-term cost benefits since these systems eliminate the need to purchase gas or electricity.
Savings Analysis of Energy Efficient Heating Options
Because temperatures and weather conditions vary widely from week to week and month to month, it’s important to consult with a professional when deciding what the most effective option is for you. You will need to weigh your options by comparing the cost of the unit itself, along with installation costs, to annual energy savings based on unit efficiency.
You’ll also want to factor in availability and costs of certain types of fuel in your area, as well as the cost of possibly having to retrofit your home to accommodate the specific type of unit you are seeking.