It’s (Almost) Unanimous
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 97% of households use some form of heating system. And almost half of the country uses natural gas to do it. But that’s not the only option. Here are several different ways to heat your home.
Furnaces are present in most U.S. households, either powered by gas, electricity, water, wood, or oil. A furnace will heat the air and then blow it through a duct system that distributes warm air around the home.
Furnaces are measured in efficiency and come in different types. If you want the highest efficiency possible, you’ll want to look for a furnace with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) above 90 percent. Note: this does not include inefficiencies from ductwork insulation. The lowest efficiency comes in the 50-70 percent range.
Solar is quickly becoming one of the most efficient and cost-effective home energy methods, which includes heating. Many factors go into sizing and installing solar heating. The solar panels collect energy from the sun, which is then converted into air or liquid. The energy is then transferred to an indoor space, creating heat. Active solar can also be used to supplement an existing forced-air system.
Heat via wood or pellets has become a more efficient and cost-effective method due to advancements in technology. There are some downsides to wood heat, like an excess of air pollutants that pose a risk to human health and the environment. It can also be challenging to maintain a fuel-efficient heating cycle if not installed or maintained properly. The Environmental Protection Agency can certify newer wood appliances, so you can do all you can to protect yourself and the air.
If you live in a small space, don’t have a properly working heater, are trying to save money, or live in an area with a short or nonexistent winter (which does apply to West Virginia), you can opt for a portable heater.
Portable heaters, otherwise known as space heaters, are usually powered by electricity and moved around at your leisure. However, they are a common cause of home fires and need to be watched closely when used.