How to make a cold house warm :
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to keeping your home warm and toasty. The thing is, most Canadians don’t have a problem with suppliers.They have a problem choosing between them all and, that doesn’t even count heating options like HVAC systems, heat pumps, and radiant heat. Here’s what savvy consumers do to cut through the clutter.
Central Heating Furnaces
According to Furnaceprices.ca, the majority of North American households depend on a central heating scheme (furnace) to provide their heat. A furnace works by blowing hot air through air ducts in the home. This warm air heats up rooms to a comfortable temperature. The type of heating system is also called “forced hot air” or “ducted warm-air.” It can be powered by a variety of different fuels, including natural gas, oil, or electricity, though electric heating systems tend to be the most expensive.Inside the furnace, a gas or oil-fired furnace, the fuel is mixed with air and then burned for heat. This might seem inefficient, but modern furnaces achieve a 90% or better efficiency.
The flames heat a metal heat exchanger which then transfers the heat through the air.The air itself is pushed through the duct work using a fan. At the furnace end, combustion products are vented into the atmosphere, wasting between 10 and 30% of the fuel energy. Current minimum efficiency furnaces reduce this waste using an “inducer” fan to pull exhaust gases through the heat exchanger and induce draft in the chimney.In the U.S, heating efficiencies are regulated by minimum AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency).The AFUE estimates seasonal efficiency. It also estimates average peak and part-load efficiencies.
A boiler is a special water-powered heater. Furnaces carry heat through the air. Water-systems carry heat through the water. This water is heated using the same fuels as in a forced hot air system.But, instead of heating the air, water is heated and then the water gives up its heat. It does this because the water is sent through tubing which is piped throughout the home.The cooler water then returns to the boiler to be reheated.This cycle continues forever because the system is a “closed loop.”
Steam boilers “super heat” the water and create steam in addition to the heat generated by normal heated water passing through piping.Steam heaters tend to create a “moist” or humid heat in the home, which helps make the home feel warmer than it actually is.Instead of a fan and duct system, the boiler uses a pump to circulate hot water.In more modern systems, radiant heat makes use of the traditional boiler design to send hot water throughout the home.
Heat pumps are two-way air conditioners.In the summer, they pull warm air out of the atmosphere and use an air conditioning system (essentially in reverse) to send hot air into the home. In the summer, it works in the opposite way. The air conditioner works by moving heat from relatively cool indoors to the relatively warm outdoors.
Electric Space Heaters
Portable (plug-in) electric heaters are inexpensive. However, they are typically expensive to operate.They include resistive heaters powered by oil or quartz-infrared systems powered by electric heating elements. A 1,500- watt plug-in heater uses almost the entire capacity of a 15-amp circuit, making it inefficient. The cost to operate it is 1.5 times your electricity cost per kwH.
Wood Burning And Fireplaces
These are some of the most unique and warmest options, but not always the most efficient. Wood heating can make a lot of sense if you live in a rural area and have room to stack wood. But, efficiency hinges on your ability to get good quality wood that’s dry. The drier the wood, the better. Wood prices are usually lower than gas, oil, and electric. If you cut your own wood, you can save even more.Fireplaces tend to be less efficient than woodstoves becausethe front is open and thus shuttles more oxygen into the fire to make for a faster burn cycle. People who rely on fireplaces as a primary heating source also have to deal with more indoor air pollution as the fire is more exposed than the woodstove.Most people opt for a pellet stove because of its efficiency and the low cost of wood pellets, which are often just wood pulp waste that’s been compressed into a pellet and then burned.