Updating Your Home Heating System for Fall/Winter 2013

As difficult as it may be for many people to accept, summer is over. Fall is just about here and winter’s right around the corner. While this makes a lot of folks simply want to get the most out of the remaining warm days, it should be a sign that it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to heat your home this winter.

Outfitting your home with a new heating system can certainly be costly and time-consuming, but the difference it makes can be astounding. You’ll not only enjoy a more consistent, efficient type of heat, but chances are you’ll save money on your utility bills by taking the plunge.

With so many options to choose from, it’s best to start with the four most common types of heating systems and pick the one that sounds like it’d be the best fit for your home.

Forced Air Heating

By far the most common type of heating system on the market, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of forced hot air if things are properly configured. In this type of system, air is heated in a furnace (which is powered by either propane, natural gas, electricity or oil) and is then distributed throughout your home via ductwork and registers. It is, in fact, the only method forcooling a home, and the same principles apply to how it affects home heating.

Forced hot air comes along with a variety of perks, as you can filter the air with this type of system, adjust humidity and heat your home rather inexpensively. This being said, allergens are often an issue with forced air, and you’ve got to ensure that you clean your ductwork on a regular basis. Still, forced air heating is the most common for a reason, and it’s an excellent option for those who don’t want to take their home improvements to an extreme.

Radiant Heating

Perhaps second in popularity to forced air heating is radiant heating. Considered by many people to be the best and most comfortable method of heating a home, radiant heating works by sending hot water through tubes that are embedded in the ground or ceiling and applying direct heat to cold surfaces; the boiler can be heated via the same fuel sources as are used in forced air heating.

The main advantage here is that heat remains even throughout the home, which cannot be said for certain other heating systems. However, the heating process can be slow and installation can be an expensive, lengthy process. If problems come up, maintenance can be even more expensive due to the difficulty of getting into the system itself to fix things.

Steam Radiant Heating

The antiquated version of radiant heating, steam is still used in many old homes today. These heating systems consist of cast-iron radiators that push steam throughout the house in order to heat it. It’s a nostalgic system that isn’t quite as efficient as today’s radiant heating techniques, but it can still be utilized for those who prefer the aesthetics of this system. This is a comfortable form of heat that is able to raise the temperature of a space very quickly, and updated, modern radiators are more efficient than ever before.

Still, radiant heat can be noisy (think of a whistling tea kettle), and the radiators themselves can get in the way of furniture placement, as it’s important to maintain a distance between your radiators and anything else in your home. But if you’re going for a blast-from-the-past type of look, there’s no better option.

Hot Tub / Spa Heating

There’s nothing better once the weather cools down than jumping into a hot tub or spa to relax. Keeping your hot spring properly heated and regulated can be easier said than done. The fact is, heating units can breakdown, and once things go awry it’s often time to replace them.

There are a variety of different models of hot spring heaters on the market, most of which operate on the same principles of “no-fault” heating that were first introduced to the market in 1995. Choosing the one that is right for you will depend not only on your spa model, but on how much you’re willing to spend as well.

So don’t wait until fall or winter to outfit your home with a new heating system – now is the time!


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