What Heating System is Best for a New Home?


Building a home can be one of life’s most exciting undertakings, getting to decide on your ideal home elements is incredibly exciting — maybe it’s an open kitchen design or skylights above your bathtub that you’ve been dreaming about. But building a home means you also have to make decisions on the nuts and bolts, and one question that home builders have to consider is: what heating system works best for their new home?

There are more heating options now than ever, and there are some factors to think about before making the final call on what heating option is right for you. In addition to traditional furnaces and boilers, other heating options include wood and pellet heaters, solar panels, geothermal systems, and heat pumps.

If you are taking into account environmental considerations and want to reduce your carbon footprint, and you live in an area that gets a lot of sunshine, active solar heating might be right for you. This system uses the natural energy from our nearest star and works by heating up a substance, either liquid or air, and then transferring the heat or storing it until it is called for, or it can feed a back up system if the space needs additional heat. This system can be cost-effective when there is a lot of sun to absorb and if it is replacing more expensive options like electricity, propane, and oil. You might even get a government rebate if you choose this heating option.

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Another option is electric resistance heating, in other words, converting electricity to heat. It’s good to be aware that this option is created from coal, gas or oil generators and has a low conversion rate from the source, about 30 percent. Electrical heating might be more expensive in the long term but cheaper to install initially, if you are trying to stay within a budget. It can also be a practical option if you are adding an extension onto your home, but in general, electric heating is last on the list when it comes to overall environmental and financial cost.

You may be building a house that can be heated by geothermal energy. This system uses heat and energy from within the earth and converts it into energy for your home. While this option is high on the list if you have environmental concerns (the earth just gives it away for free, straight to your home!), this option is not available in every situation. Sometimes to tap into the right system means drilling down dozens of feet and is not always a viable option.

An increasingly popular option is a radiant heating system. Radiant heating systems supply heat directly to the floor or to panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of stepping on to a heated floor in the bathroom after a shower, you’ll know that this system has major advantages. In addition to it feeling very luxurious, it is usually an efficient way of distributing heat throughout the house.

There are other options to consider. Wood heating is an efficient and nearly carbon neutral option, but you have to have access to fire wood. There are other biofuels that are available like burning corn pellets, but the availability might be an issue for many people. (Corn pellets are a great option for farmers, if that happens to be you!)

Furnace boilers can run off of a variety of fuels like natural gas and oil. Again there are many factors to consider here. Natural gas has traditionally been the cheapest conventional heating fuel – substantially cheaper than electricity, and often cheaper than home heating oil, but commodities prices fluctuate and you are somewhat beholden to the markets.

As you can see, there are many heating and furnace options for homes and it really depends on your unique circumstances. If you have questions about what is right for you, don’t be shy, give us a call and we can sort it out with you. Like us on Facebook to stay up to date with our promotions!