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For a few months throughout the year, more or less depending on your geographical location, heating your home is essential.
It is possible that the type of heating source for your home has already been decided. However, if your home needs a new heating source, or you are building a new home, you have a lot to think about.
There are several different ways to provide heat to your home, with central heating, oil heating, and wood heating being the top three choices of most homeowners. There are, however some different factors that you need to think about before making a decision as to which type of heating is best for your home.
Of these factors, cost is, perhaps, the most important. This includes both the cost of the system, as well as monthly or yearly costs to keep the system going. From there, you need to think about the affect your decision has on the environment, safety factors, ease of use, and how well the system performs to heat your home.
Taking the time to think about all these factors can really help you make the decision as to which type of heating system is best for your home. Keep reading to discover the advantages and disadvantages of central heat, oil heat, and wood heat before you make an investment into a new heating system.
A Closer Look at Central Heat for Your Home
A central heating system is what many homeowners choose. In this circumstance, there is one area of the home dedicated to the heat system.
The system can work in three ways. The first is by pushing heated air throughout the home via a ductwork system. The second is by circulating hot water through pipes throughout the home, and the third is heating with steam through pipes.
One benefit of central heat is how efficient the system is. There is a central location for the system to be, but yet it has the ability to evenly distribute heat throughout the entire home all at the same time, and brings the home up to temp quickly.
You have different choices when it comes to the heating source. This could be gas, electric, or solar power, choosing whichever one best suits your needs and your budget.
Speaking of budget, central heating systems are quite expensive to install. However, these costs are quickly recuperated over time, making a central heating system well worth the investment. Cost of the system is dependent upon the type you choose. For instance, a solar powered central heating system is going to be much more to install, but continual costs are almost minimal.
There really are no downsides to a central heating system. In fact, it is very easy to control a central heating system. A thermostat is installed in a central location of the home, and can be programmed to only allow the system to run until a desired temperature is reached. This means that energy is not being used except for when the system kicks on to heat the home, and will then power down again.
A Closer Look at Oil Heating for Your Home
Another heating option you have is heating your home with oil. When thinking about choosing an oil heating system, you need to think about performance, portability, the impact it has on the environment, and cost. When it comes to performance, oil heating systems are much faster than both gas and electric systems.
This is because the oil burns 400 degrees higher than the other two types, meaning it has the ability to heat the home much quicker. Oil heating systems of today are much different than those in the past. Older systems were prone to what is known as ‘puffback,’ which caused soot to be released in the home. Newer systems do not have this problem.
Portability is one of the major advantages of heating your home with oil. This is especially true for homes that are located in very rural areas that do not have easy access to other types of heating resources, such as natural gas. The oil can be transported to your home and stored in large quantities to get you through the chilly months
You also want to think about the impact of oil heating on the environment. Fortunately, there is little negative impact, as the home heating oil burns clean, causing little air pollution, but it is a non-renewable energy source which makes it very unsustainable. Lastly, you want to think about costs. Surprisingly, oil costs are much lower than heating systems that use electricity as a source of energy. This definitely puts oil heating in the running.
A Closer Look at Wood Heating for Your Home
Having the ability to heat your home with a renewable resource is important to many. That is why choosing wood heat might just be the best solution for you. In addition to being renewable, wood is very inexpensive.
However, in order to make costs extremely low, you would need to make an effort to cut, split, haul, and carry your own wood. You would also need a place to store wood all year long. These are setbacks to heating your home with wood, but for many, these are just minor setbacks that are beat out by the low cost of having a renewable heating source.
In addition to the low costs on a monthly or yearly basis, the wood stoves themselves are also relatively affordable. You can have a custom-built wood stove for your home, and it would still be more affordable than other types of heating systems.
Now, there are some concerns over the efficiency of heating with wood. Some believe that wood stoves only heat one room extremely well and the further away from the wood stove a room is, the cooler it remains. In addition, there are concerns about the smoke that a wood stove puts out into the environment, and into your home. However, researchers believe that this ‘unhealthy’ smoke pollution is minimal compared to other types of heating systems, but it is good practice to take precautionary steps to reduce the smoke pollution.
Figuring Out Which Heating System is Best
Now that you know a little bit about each of the three heating systems – central heat, oil, and wood – you need to figure out which system is best for your needs.
There are a few things to think about that can help make this decision easier.
Whether you are building a new home or are replacing an existing system is a big factor. If you are building a new home, you can choose whatever type of system you want, depending on your budget. However, if you are replacing an older system, you really need to be concerned about the cost of switching to a completely different system. It will all come down to what your budget is, and how much work would be involved in the installation of the new system.
Next, you will want to think about the effects of the system on the environment. You have read about the renewable and nonrenewable heating sources, and only you can decide what you think is right for you and your family. You also need to think about how important it is for you to preserve the environment and limit pollution.
Lastly, you will want to think about the safety of your family. There are some concerns about the safety of wood stoves, particularly in homes with children. The wood stove can become very hot to the touch, and if it is in a room occupied by children who play, they could become hurt. Other heating systems are put in a room by themselves away from children. Again, this is a decision that is based on personal preference and concern.
After thinking about the three different types of heating systems discussed here – central heating, oil heating, and wood heating – you have learned the basic information you need to make a decision about the best type of heating system for your home.
Remember that central heating is the simplest to use, but can also be the most expensive to install, although future costs are minimal and the system pays for itself quickly. Oil heating systems are relatively inexpensive, have minimal negative effects on the environment, and is perfect for those who live in very rural areas that do not have access to other means of heat—but oil is not a renewable resource. Wood stoves are a great option that are relatively low cost to get started and to maintain, although there are a few safety factors to worry about, as well as the idea of pollution put into the air and your home from the wood smoke.
The biggest factor for most people is the budget, but knowing the benefits, the drawbacks, and how the systems work can really help you make an informed decision.
Now that you have all the information you need, you just need to ask yourself which heating system is best for heating your home?