In our last blog entry we discussed how to winterize you home with good air sealing, insulation and good window and door seals. Today we will explore the different types of heating systems for your home and some of the pros and cons. But no matter what system you have. Lake Country Repair can service your heating system. However, we do not do chimney cleaning for your fireplace! But for all other problems with your gas fireplace, we can help! We will explore zone heating a bit further in our next blog.
Most of the homes in Wisconsin are using natural gas to heat the home. Nationwide the fuel type break down is as follows:
- 40% Natural Gas
- 34% Electricity
- 6% Fuel Oil
- 5% Propane
- 3% Does not have any heating system
- 2% Wood burning
- 1% Other
Types of Heat Distribution Systems
Heat can be distributed through your home through hot water or hot air. Most of the home in Southeastern WI use hot air distribution through a duct system, and a furnace that produces the warm air, called a forces air system. Hot water is distributed through piping and is used in radiant floor heating, radiators or baseboard radiators.
Furnaces can be electric of gas - but the high cost of electricity and our low winter temperatures make the electric versions cost prohibitive in our area.
Accurate sizing of your system is very important. A furnace that is too small will not keep your house warm on the coldest days of the winter, or be running non stop. Over-sizing is also not recommended as those systems tend to cycle on and off more often creating more wear and tear on the parts. But a slight over capacity for the normal winter temperatures is recommended to not be caught with a cold home when we do dip into sub zero territory. Lake Country Repair can assist you in providing the correctly sized system for your home
Active Solar Heating
In this scenario solar energy is used to heat a liquid, which is heated by the sun and then stored, most often in a hot water heater or the warm liquid is used for floor heating. Solar does work in WI. Did you know that Kohl's corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls installed a photovoltaic system? With the price of solar panesl having dropped significantly in the past 5 years, this is really becoming a good alternative
This is a very efficient system where 100 % of the electricity is converted to heat, but with the high cost of electricity and our harsh winters this is not the most cost effective heating system for homes in Wisconsin.
Radiant heat is used to heat floors or walls. It is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. It's also wonderful to walk on a warm floor on a cold winters day.
There are three types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside.
Portable Heaters and Fireplaces
These are great for that one cold corner of the home or in a situation where you want one small area to be much warmer than the rest of the home. Often is is more energy efficient that heating the entire house to the warmer temperature.