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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.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the attack of the energy bill. In order to do so, you will need to invest in an energy efficient heating system. Energy-efficient heating systems include boilers, energy-efficient furnaces, radiant heating systems, tankless water heaters and solar heating systems. The bottom line is that homeowners today want a mechanical system that offers amazing comfort with low operating costs. The most common heating systems include heat pumps, force air heating, and hydronic heating.

Forced Air Heating

Forced air heating is a traditional heating system that utilizes gas burners which then heat a large metal chamber. The air is pushed over the metal chamber, warmed and then forced through ducts into various rooms by an electrical fan. Since hot air rises, the air near the ceiling may reach 82 degrees while the air near the floor might be only 69 degrees. The higher the ceiling is, the greater this effect becomes. Homes that include vaulted ceilings experience enormous comfort and efficiency challenges with forced air systems. Furthermore, conventional systems often leave houses with hot and cold spots as well as drafts.

Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps are another traditional system used widely. They are extremely energy efficient, but 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 it uses far less current. With heat pumps, more energy is supplied than consumed, simply because heat is extracted from the air and water within its surroundings. For these reasons, heat pumps can circulate more air and last for longer periods of time.

Hydronic Heating

Hydronic heating is a heating system that uses water. It can be used with forced air or radiant heating systems. With hydronic forced air applications, heated water is passed through several long, narrow baseboard-style radiating units and a blower pushes the cool air across the units. As the cold air passes over the units, the air is heated and directed to the living area. Unfortunately, this option often causes hot and cold spells. Radiant heating systems increase comfort, economy, and flexibility. The heated water is run through pipes in the floor (or walls) and the floor gets warm as the heat radiates into the living area. Radiant systems provide a more constant heat than forced-air options.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating systems are considered to be the best of the best. Unfortunately, radiant heating systems can be very expensive to install and maintain. However, they also use less energy than comparable forced air systems which will end up saving homeowners lots of money. Radiant heating systems can use 20% to 40% less energy to heat the same space, while maintaining a much more comfortable heat level.

Boilers are important considerations with radiant heating systems. The boiler is responsible for heating the water that circulates through the baseboard radiators or the tubing in the floor. Without a sufficient amount of heated water, the baseboard radiation and tubing will not have enough heated water to radiate into the home. For this reason, choosing the right boiler can make or break a system.

The trick to saving money with a radiant heating system is to connect an individual water heater to the boiler. This will heat a greater volume of water more efficiently than a conventional water heater. The truth is that conventional water heaters heat about 40 to 50 gallons of water in an hour at 55% efficiency. By connecting a conventional water heater to a boiler, it will heat 200 gallons or more in an hour at 87% or more efficiency. For households that require a lot of water, the ladder is the most logical choice.

Benefits of Radiant Heating:

  • You will always have a warm floor on a chilly day.
  • It leaves the natural humidity in the air and eliminates the need to add humidifiers.
  • Radiant systems can be divided into different heating zones, which lead to energy savings.
  • They offer great flexibility in decorating due to the fact that there are no heating ducts for furniture to block.
  • Cleaning is easier because dust is no longer being circulated throughout the house.
  • Radiant tubing makes all basements warm and comfortable.

Last, but not least, solar water heaters are a cost effective alternative to the common systems used for heating. They are a simple, reliable, and cost-effective way to harness the sun’s energy to provide the energy needs of a home. New technologies help to make solar water heaters an affordable and efficient heater for all climates. Solar energy systems typically have a high initial cost, but you will be sure to earn that money back in savings due to extremely low operating costs. As far as tank size is concerned, the same factors that contribute to a traditional heater, apply to a solar water heater.

Looking For More Information On Heating and Cooling?

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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.

read entire article

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.

read entire article

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.

read entire article

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