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Heating Alternatives

Steam-Heating: Steam heating is an old fashion home heating technique. It warms a room by utilizing steam to warm a radiator. Water is heated in a boiler and steam is created from it. The boiler is heater by the use of coal, coal oil and other oils. As you all probably know, coal is dirty and oil is very costly. Steam heating systems cost a lot and require a lot of maintenance. Also, a lot of hardware is involved to make the system work. On the other side, steam heaters are loved by people with allergies because the system doesn’t move air from the outside into the home.

Gas-Fired Hydronic Heating: This type of heating alternative is based on the same principle as steam heating. The main difference is that hydronic heating systems boil its water with a gas-fired boiler and then the heated water is sent to several long, narrow baseboard-style radiating units. However, the heat that is distributed is less intense and radiated over a greater area. Also, a hydronic system is cleaner, safer, more energy-efficient and easier to decorate around than a steam heater.

Radiant Heating: Radiant heating is another type of hydronic (water) heating. It is similar to Gas-Fired Hydronic Heating but instead the water traveling through long, narrow baseboard-style radiating units, it gets distributed through a series of metal or plastic tubes. The tubes are placed with the walls, floors and ceiling in a hidden pattern. Usually the radiant heat systems are built into the floors because heat rises and that would make the system the most efficient. This alternative heating system can be very expensive to install and maintain.

Heat Pumps: Heat Pumps are extremely energy efficient alternative heating systems. They tend to be more complex in that they can double as an air conditioner. Heat pumps are run by electricity, but the electricity used in a heat pump operates differently then expected. It uses an electric motor not a heat coil therefore using far less current. In addition, a heat pump contains mechanical devices that can transform its Freon from a liquid to a gas or visa versa.

Gas-fired, Forced-Air Units (central heating) and Wall Units: Both units utilize gas burners which then heat a large metal chamber. In central heating units, the air is pushed over the metal chamber, warmed and then forced through ducts into various rooms by an electrical fan. Wall units, on the other hand, heat the metal chamber and that heat then radiates into the room. Some these wall units can be extremely energy efficient.

Keep in mind, certain units that use fans, such as gas-fired central heating units, bring air from the outside into the home. This leads to two problems which include letting dust into the indoors and creating a cleaning problem, or allergies are effect and sneezing and sniffles starts up. However, these units are also reasonably priced.

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Home Heating Systems

Home Heating Systems
It usually isn’t until we receive our energy bill that we remember how our home is heated. Heat is often taken for granted because for the most part our heating systems are controlled by a simple turn of the thermostat and magically we have heat! In recent times, homeowners are becoming more conscious of how much heat is used because energy costs are taking a bigger bite out of our household budgets.

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Common Air Conditioning Problems

Common A/C Problems
Most air conditioning problems are a result of flawed installation, poor service, and insufficient maintenance. However, there are several ways to check for and resolve problems associated with your central air conditioning. Common problems include the compressor failing to turn on, the air not coming out cool enough, low airflow, and water leaks.

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Energy Efficient Air Conditioning

Energy Efficient Air Conditioning
In order to get the most out of your air conditioning system, it is important to understand the different designs, components, and operating principles. Paying close attention to the proper sizing, selection, installation, maintenance, and correct use are keys to lowing your overall costs.

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