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Energy Efficient Heating

Keeping your home warm and comfortable during the long, cold months of winter is an essential part of making your home liveable. As the cost of energy continues to rise, more and more people are finding that they simply cannot afford to keep their home at a manageable temperature. When the deepest cold of the winter hits, this can end up taking a real toll on your quality of life. Thankfully, there are a number of energy-efficient heating options out there that can help make winter warmth more affordable.

Why it Matters

High energy prices can force homeowners to keep their homes colder than they should be. When homeowners can't keep their homes properly heated throughout the winter, many problems can arise. Of these many problems, frozen pipes are perhaps the most costly and damaging.

Frozen Pipes

When your home isn't kept at a reasonable temperature throughout the winter, the water in your pipes can freeze. Even if you keep your home in the 50s during the day, nighttime temperatures can plummet so fast that your pipes will still freeze. When this water freezes, it expands within your pipes. This expansion can lead to small fissures or massive ruptures in the afflicted piping system. When pipes rupture like this, you are forced to have your plumbing redone and you are left with massive amounts of water damage to your valuables.

Energy Efficiency Makes Heating Affordable

Thankfully, it isn't necessary to put yourself through these problems when you utilize energy-efficient heating options. Since they use less energy than more "traditional" heating options, energy-efficient systems allow you to keep your home at a manageable level throughout the winter. While more traditional options like radiators or boilers may be very useful in some situations, many homeowners will find energy-efficient systems to be their best option.

As the technology surrounding efficient heating systems has developed, it has become much more scalable. Years ago, you would be forced to upgrade your entire home setup if you wanted to become more energy efficient. The invention of smaller forced air heating systems, more accurate thermostats and radiant floor heating has made efficiency much more affordable to achieve.

Types of Energy Efficient Heating Systems

The type of energy efficient heating system you purchase will depend largely on your budget and your climate. Taking the time to find an efficient home heating system that suits your needs is the best thing you can do. In general, you'll find that three options are more widely used than others.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps utilize pressure gradients to semi-passively transfer heat from one area to another. When air is warmer, it is more energetic and less dense than colder air. The difference in relative densities in air of different temperatures causes warm air to be displaced by cold air. The resulting displacement pushes that warmer air into a predictable direction of flow. Heat pumps take control of the directional flow of that heat, helping to keep it flowing toward the interior of your home.

Geothermal Heating

The Earth is continually producing significant amounts of heat from its massive molten core. The heat generated miles below the Earth's surface dissipates gradually as it rises. Six feet below the surface of the Earth, temperatures remain fairly constant no matter what season it is. These constant temperatures will vary from location to location, but will remain constant no matter where they are.

Geothermal heating takes advantage of this constant temperature by using a series of fluid-filled pipes that run underground heat to the surface. Geothermal heat is most commonly floor heat. Since it takes advantage of heat that's already available in the ground, geothermal heat is a very efficient way to heat your home.

Forced Air

Forced air heating can be generated through a number of different means. The two most common ways to generate forced air heat are natural gas and electricity. While forced air systems are not inherently as efficient as other systems, they can become more efficient when used in larger buildings. Current geothermal systems may not be enough to heat large buildings and heat pumps can be cost-prohibitive on a larger scale. Using forced air developed to the top current efficiency standards can still be a great way to save energy.

Efficient Heating Makes Sense

There are a lot of great reasons to update old, inefficient heating systems to newer energy efficient ones. Systems that use less energy are inherently less expensive to operate. Over time, you will find that an energy-efficient heating system will pay for itself with the energy it saves. This allows you to live comfortably while spending much less money on your heating bills every month.