There are Other Options to Heat Your Home

Odds are you use a furnace to heat your home. It’s really no surprise, as almost half of all US households use a natural gas furnace as their main heating equipment, according to a 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey. But is there a good furnace alternative?

While one-half seems like many homes using a furnace, it leaves you wondering what the other 50 percent of the nation is using to warm their homes. 

Roughly one-third of the nation relies on electricity as their main heating fuel. Among those options is the electric furnace. The electric furnace is actually more efficient than the gas furnace, but the cost of electricity might make them more expensive to operate. 

People choose electric because they don’t want to use natural gas, either for safety concerns, environmental concerns, or because of limited space. The electric furnace is also easy and inexpensive to install.

Some homes rely on heat pumps to stay warm in the winter. Heat pumps are forced-air systems that have both heating and cooling functions. HVAC techs install traditional heat pumps like central air conditioners, with an indoor unit, and outdoor unit, and ductwork. 

The smallest subset of homes use a different fuel to heat their homes, such as oil furnaces. In rural areas with limited access to natural gas, oil-fired boilers and furnaces are a popular alternative.

Gas furnaces may run more efficient on average, but oil furnaces are cheaper than their natural-gas peers. 

Typically, a secondary heating method, but still prominent in many American homes, is the fireplace. Traditional fireplaces are inefficient, but modern fireplaces have made many improvements.

You also have many choices between several kinds of fireplaces, such as gas, electric, pellet stove, or wood burning. You will need a professional to install a new fireplace so it operates as efficiently as possible.

There may be some options that would not work well with the existing infrastructure of your home, but you still have many choices to consider for either a primary or secondary heat source in your house.

You can find out more about the best ways to heat your home by calling Sunrise Heating and Plumbing at 616-293-9326. Our highly trained staff can help you prepare for the approaching cooler months.