There are quite a few options for central heating in your home. In the olden days, people had a coal-burning stove in the basement which ventilated heat through the house while sending smoke through a chimney in the center of the roof. This method still works today in impoverished communities across Africa, and even in some remote areas of Siberia.
Finding a Solution That Fits Your Home
If you’ve got a cabin in the woods, this might be a wiser move than leaning on either gas or electricity, owing to the lack of availability of either sort of energy source. There’s also a third alternative: water-based heating which uses radiators. The radiators fill with hot water, associated heat radiates through the house. This is sort of a hybrid, as the water may well be heated using gas.
You could hook up a wood or coal-burning stove that’s portable and let it vent outside; one of those will keep a 500 square foot home warm enough, but you’ve got to refill it. Electric heat is more expensive than gas, but definitely works, and gas-based heat tends to be the best bet for most homes, owing to its cost-effectiveness.
Basically, gas is used to heat a stove, the stove then uses a ventilation system that forces hot air through the house. A thermostat determines the temperature of the house, if it drops below a pre-set threshold, the furnace turns up and the vents kick on. At any rate: which of these options is best for your particular property? Well, we’ll explore that here.
1. How Near Are You to Needed Infrastructure?
One thing that may inform your choice is your relative proximity to modern infrastructure. If you’re in the bush a hundred miles from Nome, Alaska, you don’t want a system that’s going to break down.
It’s good to know a skilled furnace repair service, so if something happens, you can get the help you need. Most furnace-related heating is quite reliable, and modernity has refined this heating option, providing many support options through grid-based infrastructure.
2. What already Exists on the Property?
If you’re in a house that you’ve recently purchased, you have the option of just going with whatever heating option you’ve already got on-premises, or upgrading it. What might make sense is living there a month, exploring your heating bill, then using that as a reference point to research other options in your area.
Keep in mind, the location of your property will in some part determine what sort of heating is best. If you’re in, say, Miami, why do you even need heating? That’s a joke of course, certainly with humidity and winter, you might see the temperature drop to near freezing every decade or so; it would be nice to be warm.
Still, that’s going to be so rare, it might be best only to have A/C. If you’re in Wyoming or Maine, it’s a different story. Southern homes tend to rely on electric heat because they need it so seldom that it’s cheap. In the north, gas is better because it’s used perpetually through the winter, and so the cost is lower.
3. What Kind of Budget are You Working With?
Last but not least, how much money do you have to spend? Can you throw $5k at the problem, or $50k? Or do you only have a few hundred dollars? For under a grand you can buy and install a safe wood-burning stove; you’ve just got to do the acquisition, install, and vent work yourself. Again, gas furnaces tend to be the best bang for your buck.
Making an Informed Choice for Your Home’s Heat
There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to how your home is heated. You want to think about your budget, your location, what sort of heating infrastructure already exists on the property, and how near you are to grid-based services for things like hvac repair or maintenance.
At the end of the day, it makes sense to do a little research and consult with locals where your property is to get an idea of what they pay, and why. Finding relevant data like this will help inform you so you can make the best choice.