Staying Up On Furnace Maintenance

Upgrading Your Heating System? Consider These Options

If your heater has been giving you problems lately, then you might have thought about getting an upgrade. There are a number of different options out there, so it's important that you understand which solution is best for your specific case. Here are some of the basic facts about three of the most common residential heating solutions: gas furnaces, electric furnaces, and space heaters.

Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces burn natural gas, releasing a relatively high amount of heat, when compared to the volume of gas that is being consumed. What makes gas furnaces so popular is that natural gas is extremely cheap in many areas and can be brought to your home as easily as electricity. As long as you have a natural gas line to your home (as most homes do), you have access to a very cheap energy source as long as the gas main is turned on.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces are similar in that they use an extremely common resource for fuel, essentially translating electricity directly into heat. All devices that use electricity generate a bit of heat, but electric heaters take that idea to its logical extreme by creating nothing but heat waste. Thus, heat becomes the intended product rather an undesireable byproduct.

Electricity can be cheaper than gas, but that isn't always the case. You will need to check with your utility provider to determine the exact rates that you would get for each, and then you will need to also consider the cost of buying and installing new furnaces.

Space Heaters

If you aren't looking to heat your entire home, then a space heater is a perfectly viable option. In fact, a space heater can even be more efficient than a central heater if you are only planning on heating a room or two. In that situation, a central heater would waste a lot of power on heating uninhabited rooms, where the entire output of a space heater would directly benefit you. There are also a couple types of space heaters, with radiant and convection being the most common.

Radiant – These heaters generate heat and project it directly towards objects in a room, which means that you will begin to feel the benefits immediately. You will feel warm, your chair will feel warm, and everything you touch will feel warm. However, this heat will dissipate pretty quickly once the heater is turned off.

Convection – These units actually heat up the air and then circulate it throughout the room, gradually raising the temperature over a period of time. The downside is that this is much slower than using a radiant heater, but the upside is that the heat will persist for a long time after the heater is actually turned off.

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