Building a home involves a lot of decisions. You need to pick a floor plan, the carpets, and everything in between. One of these decisions is how you plan to heat the home. Now, most people would go with a traditional gas furnace, but did you know there are other ways that you can heat your home? There are many different ways you can heat your home, each with their own set of pros and cons. For many years people were limited to the gas furnace and other derivatives of it. However, nowadays, there are plenty of options that are equally efficient. In this article, we will talk about three different options: electric forced air heating, geothermal heating, and pellet stove heating.
Electric Forced Air Heating
Thanks to some great leaps in heating technology, electric forced air has become not only a cheaper solution for home heating, but also an efficient method as well. They work much like gas furnaces where the warm air is pushed through the existing ventilation of your home. But, instead of an open flame, heating coils are used. It works much like a toaster where electricity is pumped through a few wires and these wires get really hot, heating up the air around them, then a fan pushes that warm air through the vents into the rest of the house. Naturally, it is much more complicated than the heating coils in your toaster, but, at their core, they run off the same principle. How’s that for making your new home ‘toasty’ in the winter?
Electric forced air heating is one of the most environmentally friendly ways that you can heat your home. Since it doesn’t involve the burning of any fuel, it doesn’t release any pollutants which means no damage to ozone. There are some indirect effects, depending on where the electricity for your home is generated, however. This is because many of the electricity generating plants here in the USA use coal fires to spin their turbines. There have been a lot of advances in electrical generation over the last few decades and more green ways of doing it are being integrated into our system here in Idaho so the future is looking bright for conservationists when it comes to home heating.
It is also said that an electric furnace costs less upfront than a gas furnace. Not to mention, they are said to be easier to repair as well.
One of the biggest reasons why a lot of people prefer electric forced air is because they are much safer than gas furnaces. With even the best furnaces, there is still a possibility of having a gas leak. This isn’t a concern with electric furnaces because no gas is involved at all.
The downside to using an electric furnace is that your electric bill will go up dramatically. This can be a bit shocking for some people at first, but you have to remember that you won’t have to worry about a gas bill anymore. So, there are some tradeoffs to consider.
Wood Pellet Heat
Wood pellet stoves are a great alternative to heating your home, especially if you want to live more ‘off the grid’. They combine the age-old heating method of wood burning stoves with the convenience of modern technology. They differ from wood burning stoves because they burn small wood pellets instead of actual wooden logs.
For many people, the reason they prefer to use these wooden pellets over actual wooden logs is because they are suggested to be more efficient than real wood. According to www.woodfuelresource.org.uk pellets produce almost 1,000 more kilowatt hours of energy than wood does due to the way they are made making them very efficient.
Another great reason to use a pellet stove is because they don’t need to be tended like a normal wood burning stove. With wood burning stoves you have to reload them every few hours whereas pellet stoves which only have to be reloaded every few days. Yep, that’s right. There is a reservoir attached to the stove that only needs to be filled sporadically so you don’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to load it up again or worry about staying away too late and coming home to a cold house.
One other awesome perk of wood pellet stoves is that they can be controlled by a computer. So, you can set the temperature that you want your home to be at and the computer will drop the appropriate amount of pellets into the furnace to get it to that temperature. It is a pretty awesome system.
Then, of course, there is the fact that the wood pellet stove is powered by, well wood, which is a renewable resource instead of fossil fuels which is not renewable.
There are some downsides to the wood pellet heating system. One of these downsides is the fact that they are not as good for the environment as the electric heating system. They are better than actual wood, but they still release pollutants.
Here in Boise, we have an awesome opportunity for this kind of energy. Geothermal energy and heating is thanks to the naturally warm water that lies beneath the earth surface. The hot water is piped up to the surface and is used to turn turbines and generate electricity or used to heat a building.
There are several buildings in downtown Boise that are heated by geothermal heat. One of these being the Idaho State Capitol building and the other being Boise State University’s Micron Business and Economics building.
This resource may not be available in every part of the valley, but if it is available then you should definitely be taken advantage of because it is cheaper and much better for the environment.
Now, it is important to remember that there are many more ways to heat your home beside the ones listed above. So be sure to explore all your options before you make a choice. Your real estate agent can help advise you on what options are available in your area so be sure to consult with them before making any decisions.