What Options Do I Have for Heating My Home?| Billy.com
Are you building or renovating a house? Besides installing all your favorite finishes, some practical decisions need to be considered, like what options you have for heating your home.
Heating your home using a boiler is very common. The boiler sends hot water or steam through pipes distributing heat from a central location inside your home. Even though boilers are helpful for zone heating—only heating select rooms—they are relatively costly to install and maintain compared to the alternatives. Boilers are compatible with steam radiators and hot water baseboard heaters as distribution systems.
Heat pumps are an environmental way to both heat and cool your home. Using an electrical system, the pumps scavenge the outside air, separating the hot air from the cold, then pull the hot air inside. In the summer, they remove the hot air from the inside to cool the house. There are two types of pumps: those that pull heat from the outside air and those with pumps buried underground where the temperature is more consistent. Heat pumps typically use forced air systems for distribution.
Active Solar Heating
Active solar heating involves installing solar panels on your roof and heating your home with the energy from the sun. Solar heating can be costly upfront but is cost-efficient in the long run. Solar heating is also the most environmentally friendly option.
If you live somewhere that there isn’t much sunshine in the year, you might have to have a backup system installed, so you’re prepared if you run out of solar energy. Solar heating is also very versatile as it can use forced air systems, radiate heating, and hot water baseboard heaters as distribution systems.
Heating your home with a furnace is one of the most popular methods in the US. Furnaces can run on electricity, propane, or oil, but most homes use natural gas. Furnaces are an inexpensive option that utilizes a forced-air system to distribute hot air throughout the house. So, in the summer months, the A/C systems can use those air ducts.
If you choose not to get a central air system, there are electric substitutes that, while not as efficient, can do an adequate job heating. Electric heating includes electric baseboard heaters, which let out hot air and suck in the cool air. Also, there are heaters and electric radiators that plug into the wall. Electric heating typically gets used when a decentralized system isn’t necessary or an option. A benefit of baseboard heaters, especially electric ones, is that they also can work as a backup system for heat pumps and solar heating.
Now that you’ve asked yourself, “What options do I have for heating my home?” you can find the right system for your home.