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3 Alternative Heating Options to Try this Winter

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

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.

Geothermal Heat

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

Gas Furnace Maintenance: Why You Need To Get A Technician

Your home’s heating system is a very important part of your home and should always be in good condition especially during the wintertime. If you haven’t already got it checked, doing so will safeguard you and your family from the cold.

Your gas furnace is usually located in the basement, attic or some closets. While a gas furnace is quite easy to maintain, there is still a need to get it checked by a licensed and certified technician.

One mistake of homeowners is that when there is heat inside the home, they assume that there is no need to take a look at the furnace to check if it is still in good working order.

Homeowners should pay attention to their furnace by doing an inspection. Ensuring that the gas furnace is not making any weird noises is one thing that a homeowner should do. If the boiler is dripping, this can also cause problems later on so be sure to get a technician when that happens.

The gas furnace should also be free from any type of debris. Ensuring that the area surrounding the furnace is clean is ensuring that your family is safe because storing materials like cleaning products as well as paints is dangerous. Storing flammable materials near a gas furnace can result to fire.

The thermostat setting should also be checked according to experts and each gas furnace should also have a carbon monoxide detector device right beside it. A gas furnace that has a leak can cause harm when it leaks toxic chemicals into the home.

Call A Licensed and Certified Technician

While inspecting the heating unit yourself is a good idea, experts say it’s better to get a technician, like those of Solano Heating & Air Conditioning in Suisun City, CA, to check it at least once a year.

One must remember that technicians are more knowledgeable when it comes to furnaces and that they have the equipment in determining possible problems.

When a technician checks a furnace, he usually does a run down of the check list of things that need to be checked or maintained. Part of the maintenance step is cleaning the unit itself and its surrounding area ensuring that dirt and dust are removed. Rust on the unit is also removed. Other parts of the system that technicians check include the air filter, the unit’s gas pressures as well as the safety valves of the furnace.

The fan belt is also checked because it can either crack or fray. The belt itself has a tendency to loosen so this is checked as well. Other parts of the furnace that are checked by technicians include the connections for the voltage, the thermostat contacts, the radiators, the thermostat itself and the burners.

A detailed check, according to experts, will take an hour or more but more often than not, homeowners are charged a flat rate fee for such checks.