There are several methods you can use to heat your home, and when it is this cold outside, these methods are vitally important to your comfort. You probably know what method you employ in your home, but maybe you don't know all the methods that are available in case you build a new home or need to upgrade.
The Department of Energy has a great section on residential heating systems, but I rearranged some of their methods to hopefully make it a little clearer. In addition, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has a nice section on several of the heating methods.
Heating your home involves two parts: "Producing" the heat (Heating methods) and moving the heat to where you want it (Heat Distribution). Below is just an introduction, with more analysis coming in later blogs. I've tried to simplify as much as possible. Are we missing anything?
- Forced Air
- Furnace (Gas Fired - Natural Gas and Propane, Oil, Electric)
- Wood and Pellet-Fuel (Stove, Fireplace, Furnace)
- Heat Pump (Geothermal and Air Source)
- Solar Heating (Air, Fluid)
- Electric Space Heater
Some of these methods can be used to heat your whole home (i.e. natural gas furnace) and some may need to be used in tandem to keep your home at a comfortable level (i.e. Geothermal heat pump with pellet stove back-up). In future posts, we'll go more in depth on what is the most efficient and how you can best employ the methods to keep your heating bills down!
Here are some other home heating related articles:
And for a post on the same topic, but on the technical end of the spectrum: