Many of us put our safety and the comfort of our homes in the sole hands of a furnace during the bitter winters. With an annual tune-up, regular changing of the filters and as long as the unit isn’t decades old there should be no reason to worry about expensive furnace repairs. That being said on those all-to-common instances when the temperatures have that annoying little minus sign in front of them, it’s not bad to have a backup or two. Besides that, having multiple heating options helps alleviate the stress and utility drain on each of them.
Here are some options for a balanced heating strategy or in case furnace repairs are needed:
While installing baseboard heat is an option (typical costs $150-$200) perhaps a better idea for utilizing electricity for heat is with personal plug-in warmers. A small heater placed near your desk can keep you warm with minimal electricity usage as it aims to warm the person instead of the entire space. Electric heaters are great to have in a pinch when your furnace fails, or when it’s just chilly enough to be uncomfortable.
When vicious winter ice storms create enough havoc to snap power lines and cause electricity to go out a wood stove can be a life saver. Not only are wood stoves a great alternative in emergencies and during furnace repairs, once they’ve been purchased the cost to run is minimal as it only involves finding wood to burn.
Radiant Floor Heat
Radiant floor heat is very convenient for a number of reasons. First off the heat is coming from the lowest possible surface, so the entire room is comfortable as the warmth rises compared to a forced air system which instantly pushes air upwards. Second, radiant floor heat is quiet as it consists of tubes or electrical wires running in a sub floor as opposed to a motor firing up or duct systems spewing air or radiators clanking as they turn on. There’s also the comfort as a radiant system is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% more efficient than other heating methods.
While geothermal heating may sound like a new concept, it’s been in existence since the hot springs days of the Paleolithic era. The theory behind geothermal is that the ground below the Earth’s surface is a consistent temperature year round. In heating systems, a pump captures warmth from below the ground and delivers it to the house. The Earth absorbs 47% of the Sun’s energy, making it a free resource to warm the house.
Check out the History of Geothermal Heating.
Indoor Kerosene Heater
It’s not the safest heating alternative, but an indoor kerosene heater serves as a great backup plan in a pinch. A standard indoor kerosene heater can heat up to 1,000 square feet without using any electricity that could be perfect for a cold basement or a garage, as well as emergency situations in the home. When a home needs furnace repairs, it still needs heat, so it’s important to expand your warming portfolio.
I hope you enjoyed this article on heating options.