Forced air heating units are familiar to most homeowners and are probably the most common way to heat a home during the wintertime; however, there are several other options you may want to consider as well. Below, you’ll find some alternative heating choices that can help keep your home warm and cozy during the cold Winter months.
Wood Burning Stoves
Wood burning stoves have been used for hundreds of years to provide warmth and comfort to spaces during the colder months. The first wood burning stove was patented way back in the year 1557! And, even though we’re in the 21st century, there’s no reason you can’t also reap the benefits of this type of heating system in your home.
Wood burning stoves can be a sensible choice for heating medium sized homes and high efficiency models are now available which improve the overall air quality of your home while keeping it warm and toasty. Wood burning stoves are a great choice as they do not rely on electricity, but simply wood, for fuel. Be sure to contact your local environmental office to learn any restrictions for wood burning stoves in your area, and keep in mind the size of your home when purchasing a wood burning stove. You’ll want to choose a stove that is adequately sized, not too big or too small, so that you get maximum efficiency from the unit.
Pellet stoves are efficient, electric powered, stoves that burn compressed wood or biomass particles (grains, corn, seeds) which are shaped into pellets. The hopper, or container, of the stove is fed with pellets, which allows the unit to maintain a constant flame that needs very little adjustment on the homeowner’s part. Pellet stoves can generally be plugged into a standard electrical outlet and will work in conjunction with a forced exhaust system. Pellet stoves burn very cleanly since the pellet produces minimal ash, although daily cleaning of the ash is recommended for maximum efficiency. Pellet stoves can be used in small or mobile homes where a wood burning stove would not be suitable.
Have you heard of geothermal heating? This type of heating is best implemented in new construction because it requires an underground system of coils, which can be easier to add to a home pre-construction. Yet, these heat pumps can also be retrofitted to an existing home. Since the main tubing of the system is located underground, heat from the earth is used to heat your home. Generally, the Earth’s temperature where the coils are buried holds steady between 50 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Since this is much warmer than the air outside of your home on a brisk Winter day, it requires less energy to heat your home’s indoor air to a comfortable level.
Geothermal units can run several thousand dollars to purchase and install, but the savings in both cost and energy in the long run is well worth it. Not to mention, since the unit utilizes heat from the earth, it is an environmentally friendly choice as well.
We offer geothermal heat pumps as well as other heating options for your home. Call us today to learn more: 707-416-0845