You can heat your home in a number of different ways, but we all know that some costs are significantly higher, especially during the winter months. Learning the most efficient heating systems for your home has never been more important, with rising costs and colder temperatures on the horizon. From wood to solar, electric to natural gas, we take a look at each home heating solution to weigh up the pros and cons.
Often known as Biomass Systems, wood-based heating systems use natural fuels like wood pellets or logs to power your central heating and boiler. With cheaper fuel and the knowledge that you’re not contributing to the rising threat of dangerous carbon emissions, wood heating can save more in the long run. However, they require more space than other conventional heaters, both for fuel storage and the increased size of the boilers needed. There are more practical considerations to take into account as well, such as how large the space is that you will need to heat – you may need more equipment and fuel. Similarly, upfront costs of purchase, installation, and safety checks may be high, and outweigh any savings within the first few years. Systems must also be used by hand, meaning no automatic timer for the morning, and no cosy house to come home to. Wood heating is one of the most efficient heating systems, but not one of the most practical.
Solar heating systems use panels to utilise heat energy from the sun and transform it to heat your home. The epitome of renewable energy sources and with significant reduction on energy bills, solar heating is one of the most efficient heating systems around. That is, of course, once it’s set up. High upfront planning, installation, and energy storage fees are enough to put a lot of energy-seekers off. Add in the fact that these systems are weather dependent, and you could be spending a few cold nights waiting for a return on your investment.
Wood and solar heating are held back by their high upfront costs, however, electric heating offers significantly lower installation fees. Electric storage heaters don’t need pipework to be installed and come with low maintenance costs due to their reliability and simplicity. Electric heating, however, isn’t quite as easy on the bank account once you’re up and running. With electricity prices significantly higher than gas prices per unit of energy, and costs on the rise it’s difficult to consider electric heaters as the most efficient heating systems available.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Rather than the sun or the trees, ground source heat pumps take their heat energy from the ground which is often more reliable and slightly cheaper to install. They are significantly cheaper to run than electric heating, and take up very little space. Due to their high safety standing, ground source heat pumps require less maintenance over the years, and can even cool your home in the summer. There are still relatively high installation costs to consider, however, and poor installation can yield a number of costly problems.
Natural Gas Heating
Because less gas is used to heat water in natural gas boilers, they are considered one of the most efficient heating systems available. Low maintenance costs, and dependability in supply will ensure your home remains warm for less, and the convenience of on-demand heating without the need for storage is enough for many homeowners to consider natural gas heating for their property. However, if installing for the first time, natural gas heaters can be costly due to the complexity of pipe and gas installation as well as access to mainline supply.