According to Energy.gov, heating costs account for the largest part of a household’s energy bill during the winter months. That’s why you should need to choose the most efficient heating system for your home — you don’t want to spend more money than you have to. You can choose options that range from forced air to circulating water to radiant heating. The best heating system for your home depends on your climate, too.
Temperatures in the North Vs. the South
The climate you live in plays a big role in the type of heating system you should choose. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to use the same heating system in Arizona where there are mild winter temperatures as you would in North Dakota where frigid winter temperatures often get below zero. Therefore, consider your climate before buying a heating unit and get one powerful enough to keep your family warm, no matter what the weather is like outside.
Heating System Options
Forced air is the most common heating system for people who live in cold climates. However, it is not the only option. Here are different heating systems and how they work.
- Forced Air: A furnace creates heat and then the heat circulates through ductwork. It is one of the most inexpensive heating options, but requires bulky ductwork and you constantly hear the furnace fan turning off and on.
- Geothermal: Heat comes from a ground loop pipe that runs like a refrigerator, only in reverse. It is one of the newest and most efficient heating options available today. The problem is that it’s expensive, difficult to install in an old home, and is better for new construction properties.
- Radiant Heat: Heat comes from in-floor, hot water tubing that circulates heat evenly throughout a home. However, it costs a lot to install and makes maintenance difficult since flooring and slabs would need to be disturbed.
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- Hydronic Heat: A boiler creates the heat and distributes it though tubes in baseboards. This is easier to maintain than radiant heat, but does not distribute heat as evenly. Plus, it is not the most effective option for homes with large rooms.
- Steam Radiant: Upright radiators in many sizes produce heat. This is a very efficient option that can heat a home up quickly, but homeowners have to deal with unsightly radiators that make furniture placement challenging.
Things to Keep in Mind
When choosing a heating system for your home, the most important thing to consider is efficiency versus cost. You want something that fits within your budget but also keeps your monthly costs to a minimum. The cost of electricity and natural gas constantly fluctuate, making costs hard to predict. Additionally, some heating units are inherently less efficient depending on the climate you live in. Grizzle HVAC says to look at fuel costs, heating system efficiency, and overall heating unit effectiveness when making your decision.
If you’re having a hard time choosing the best heating system for your home, consult with an HVAC professional. This is the best way to make sure you get something that will run efficiently and make your home warm and comfortable during cold weather.