Guest Post: Choosing a Home Heater to Suit Your Property
Selecting a heater for your home does not exactly mean you are increasing your family’s expenses. According to the Department of Energy in the United States, heating and cooling are major energy consumers of households, but you could still find ways to save costs by prudent shopping. One point to consider is the availability of more eco-friendly heating systems.
Basically, the energy efficiency may be a crucial factor in selecting a heater, but it does not mean that you should take for granted the type of heating system to install. Besides, you also have to determine the contractor of the heating machine.
Most likely, you have already tried to heat a garage using practical means. However, what about your home or the place you usually stay in? It is equally important to find a heater that would keep you warm in the winter. If you have successfully made your own patio cooler, you should also exert the same effort in selecting a heating element for your home.
To help you start reaping the advantages of having heater at home, follow these tips:
How to Choose a Home Heater
Consider the energy or fuel type sources
Natural gas is considered the most popular fuel source of a heating machine. Alternatively, if this type of gas is not available, many prefer the use of LP gas. You may also consider electric heat, especially if you are living in less severe climates.
Before you select a fuel type or energy source, you should check your area’s fuel availability. Do not forget the cost for this varies from a type of heater to another.
According to a Newport Partners study in 2013, a highly effective furnace provides upfront cost reduction and competitive energy value compared to central air-conditioning systems.
Measure the size of your home
You have to measure the size of the room where the heater will be used. If you are planning to install a centralized furnace, it is also helpful to be exact with the sizing. This is to ensure utmost comfort during the winter season. If you buy a massive heater for a small room, you may face increased energy costs. You may also suffer from far-from-typical temperature swings.
The size of your home would determine the suitable specifications of the heater to use. You need to estimate the loss of heat through the windows, roofs, walls, external areas, and basement, which would result to design heat load. For ignition appliances, the chosen unit size is often 10 to 30 percent more than design heat load.
Identify the distribution system
You have to specify the type of heat distribution used by the machine, which could either be hot water or forced air. The former type heats water using a boiler which would be circulated through a piping made of plastic or copper. The latter administers heat throughout the area with the use of air registers and ducts.
There are different pros and cons provided for each of the distribution systems. The hot water distribution covers a more balanced temperature supply. The framework also allows the usage of similar boilers to provide domestic hot water. Nonetheless, its installation cost is higher, and hydronic systems do not allow central air filtering, ventilation, or conditioning.
The forcer air system is advantageous for it allows the utilization of ducts for centralized air conditioning, humidifying, and filtering. At times, forced air systems may generate air from heating registers, which is cool since it is moving. There are also oversized units using forced air system that go through short breaks of very hot air.
Choose a system type
There are three major types of space heating systems, which are hot water boilers, forced air furnaces, and electric heat pumps. Hot water boilers are efficient systems for households given its annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of at least 80 percent.
It mainly uses electricity to power the circulating pumps. Furthermore, its effectual configurations could diminish off-cycle and milder weather losses.
Furnaces, on the other hand, have AFUE of about 78 percent to 96 percent. The base model of this system has joint heat exchangers, internal vent dampers, and electronic ignition. Mid-efficiency furnaces use more effective exchangers of heat and have more accurate combustion, air ventilation, and control.
Lastly, high-efficiency furnaces reuse some heat through the employment of second heat exchanger, and are often considered the most budget-friendly choices.
Verify the efficiency
It is highly necessary to consider the efficiency of a system. The higher its capacity to operate effectively, the lower cost you could expect. Besides AFUE for fuel oil, natural gas, or propane oil systems, you should also look into the heating season performance factor (HSPF) for electric heat pumps.
Calculate the cost
You could estimate the long-term costs of operating the heating system with the use of yellow and black EnergyGuide label. Your utility provider may also grant you assistance in comparing values among different systems. Do not simply consider the initial investment, for annual energy costs also matter a lot.
Since you are aware of how to shop for heating system smartly, you no longer have to worry about lowering your utility bill or suffering from coldest weather. You could even begin choosing among the best baseboard heaters.
Jimmy from Air Tool Guy, is a home improvement and tool enthusiast. He loves fixing stuff around the house and spends most of his time in the garage.