It usually isn’t until we receive our energy bill that we remember how our home is heated. Heat is often taken for granted because for the most part our heating systems are controlled by a simple turn of the thermostat and magically we have heat! In recent times, homeowners are becoming more conscious of how much heat is used because energy costs are taking a bigger bite out of our household budgets.
Forced Air Heating
Forced air heating is a traditional heating system that utilizes gas burners which then heat a large metal chamber. The air is pushed over the metal chamber, warmed and then forced through ducts into various rooms by an electrical fan. Since hot air rises, the air near the ceiling may reach 82 degrees while the air near the floor might be only 69 degrees. The higher the ceiling is, the greater this effect becomes. Homes that include vaulted ceilings experience enormous comfort and efficiency challenges with forced air systems. Furthermore, conventional systems often leave houses with hot and cold spots as well as drafts.
Heat Pumps are another traditional system used widely. They are extremely energy efficient, but they tend to be more complex in that they can double as an air conditioner. Heat pumps are run by electricity, but the electricity used in a heat pump operates differently then expected. It uses an electric motor not a heat coil therefore it uses far less current. With heat pumps, more energy is supplied than consumed, simply because heat is extracted from the air and water within its surroundings. For these reasons, heat pumps can circulate more air and last for longer periods of time.