Home heating is becoming more expensive as base energy costs increase and climate change makes winter air colder in places that have never seen subzero temperatures. That means it’s time for homeowners to be proactive about making sure their heating systems are efficient and working well ahead of the winter season.
So which is the best heating system for cold weather? Below, we take a look at the top home heating methods and the pros and cons of each.
Central heating is the most common type of heating used in America. Most homes in New York have a furnace with a blower that pushes heat through a network of ducts so it can reach individual rooms.
Pros in extreme weather: Central heat allows you to deliver warmth to all areas of your home, but you might have patchy hot and cold spots since this type of heating is not very even.
Cons in extreme weather: A central furnace may struggle to keep a home at the desired temperature when it’s very cold out, since warm air has to travel through icy ducts to get to where it needs to go.
Space heaters are a cheap way to get heat quickly, which can be handy if something goes wrong with your existing heating system. They cost about 20 cents an hour to run, which is cheaper than both gas and central heat. You can usually find space heaters at your local Wal-Mart and hardware stores for $25 to $200 depending on the model you choose and whether or not there are any sales available.
Pros in extreme weather: Space heaters are small, portable, and can be used to keep a small space very warm with only electricity.
Cons in extreme weather: Space heaters are one of the major causes of home fires, causing approximately 88% of all fires according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The idea of a wood stove may seem charming, but they’re also a lot of work to maintain the heat in your home. How much you’ll pay to heat your house through the entire winter depends on a lot of factors like how large your house is, how warm you like it, and how much a cord of wood costs in your area.
Pros in extreme weather: A wood stove continues to produce heat the more fuel you add to the fire. They’re particularly good for subzero temperatures since they can generate a lot of heat in a short amount of time.
Cons in extreme weather: Expect a lot of soot and poor air quality in your home when you’re using a wood stove. It’s also difficult to cool down once it gets going, so there’s not a lot of temperature control.
Ductless heat is the most efficient form of heating on this list (and overall) and will save you the most money over the long-term. They’re quiet, sleek, and don’t take up a lot of space. You can have them installed in the ceiling, on your wall, or even near your floor.
Pros in extreme weather: Like space heaters, ductless units can warm a room completely even if the rest of the house is chilly. They use much less energy than other types of heating systems and operate quietly.
Cons in extreme weather: Mini splits are thought to have reduced efficiency when temperatures drop below zero, but this doesn’t happen until the temps are way below zero. Some ductless systems are even still effective up to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many old homes in New York have baseboard heat, either in the form of oil heat or electric. These use radiant heat technology to heat your house, which just means that eventually your house will get warm as the heat gets pushed outward and away from the heater.
Pros in extreme weather: None
Cons in extreme weather: Baseboard heat takes a long time to work and it heats up your home very gradually. This makes it difficult to get warm quickly on very cold days. Plus, baseboard heat doesn’t get blown around your home with a fan like it does with central or ductless heat, so you just have to wait for the air around the heater to get warm enough.
Ductless performs best in extreme weather conditions, but it’s something you need to plan ahead for. You can’t get a ductless system at the store like a space heater, but you can have one installed in just a few short weeks.
Contact Jones Services today to learn more about efficient and effective heating or to get HVAC service and repair by calling (845) 299-2359, or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!