Tips for Diversifying Your Heating Sources

September 26, 2014

If you own a home, you know that keeping it warm in winter is expensive. On the other hand, chattering your teeth and surviving on hot beverages is not a comfortable living. There has to be a balance between low bills and warm feet, and to achieve it you might need to explore different heating options.

Central Heating

Central heating is the primary source of warmth in most households. But as we mentioned, it’s not cheap to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout winter. To not go bankrupt, many homeowners keep the thermostat set at the low to upper 60s, turning it up and down through the day. Avoid turning heat off when you leave the home, because it may lead to frozen pipes if there is risk of frost. A programmable thermostat might be one of the best solutions for controlling your heat consumption.

A Fireplace

5857623280_3d716d5a99_bFireplaces are great for looks and entertainment, but they are not very efficient for heating your home. A traditional wood-burning fireplace heats the space right in front of it, and may heat a small room, but this heat will dissipate soon after the fire is extinguished. However, electric fireplaces and gas fireplaces that don’t use a chimney are more energy efficient. You can always convert your existing wood-burning fireplace into a gas or electric one with a fireplace insert. Contact our specialists at Fireside for Maryland fireplaces and stonework.

A Heating Stove

While your kitchen stove can generate some serious heat, there are special heating stoves you can install to keep your house warm. You can choose a heating stove based on the type of fuel—wood, pellets or gas. Unlike a fireplace, a heating stove is designed for heating large spaces and can help you minimize the use of your HVAC system. Some people use stoves as primary heating sources. And if you live next to a forest where you can collect firewood, the fuel is not just cheap—it’s free!

Space Heaters

It’s a myth that space heaters are energy hogs. Modern models, in fact, are extremely energy efficient and definitely less costly than your central air. Of course, they were not designed to run all day or heat the entire house, but when placed strategically and used sparingly, they can reduce the need for higher thermostat settings. The safety features on space heaters have also come a long way, and most models include cooler outside surfaces and tipping switches.

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating can be installed in any room or throughout the house. One of the most common applications is heating the bathroom floor. The heat from the floor rises, so you get a cozy, warm bathroom as a result. Between all the other heating methods, radiant heating might be one of the most expensive due to the cost of installation. Unless you are planning to remodel, digging up the floor just to install heating might not be financially reasonable.

Heating Blankets

A heating blanket is a versatile device that can be used not just in your bed, but virtually anywhere around your home. Cover up with it when you are watching TV or put over your knees when you are working at the desk. You can even take it to work with you. Modern heating blankets are safe and consume very little electricity. A single blanket may be sufficient for the entire family to cuddle on the couch during a movie night.

By selecting a combination of different heating methods, you can lower your energy bills without sacrificing your comfort. At Fireside, we’ll be happy to get your home ready for winter by helping you choose and install the right stove or fireplace for your needs. When it comes to Maryland heating stoves and fireplaces, we have years of experience serving clients in Ellicott City and surrounding areas.