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Alternative Heating Methods for Your Home

As much as we love the conventional and tried-and-true furnace, the appliance isn't the only heating option on the market. There are a variety of alternatives that not only provide reliable comfort, but they can also drastically lower your energy bill.

If you're determined to cut your heating costs this winter, consider the following systems.

Ductless Mini-Splits

A ductless mini-split bypasses ducts altogether, delivering warm or cool air directly from the source. The result is improved comfort that requires significantly less energy.

With multiple indoor air handlers connected to a single condensing unit outside, you can create temperature zones for custom heating options.

With zoning, you control the temperature of each room. If a particular place is going to be unoccupied for long periods, you can set it at a lower temperature, helping cut your energy bill. Furthermore, the installation is extremely simple -- no complicated ductwork required.

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating has steadily grown in popularity -- and for good reason. There are two main types of floor heating systems: water-based and electric. While water-based units run hot water through pipes, electric systems use heated wiring to provide warmth. Because radiant floor heating doesn't consume a lot of energy, you'll stand to reduce your heating bill by up to 15 percent.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Many of today's homeowners are switching to geothermal heat pumps. During the winter, a geothermal heat pump can transfer warmth from the ground into your home. (And vice versa during summer.) It does not need to burn fuel to generate heat. In comparison to a traditional heating system, the operating cost of a geothermal heat pump is often 60 percent lower.

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