New high efficiency gas boilers can save a lot of energy if you have an energy efficient home. However, your home must be heavily insulated and airtight to apply this technology successfully. Condensing boiling saves energy by circulating lower-temperature water than conventional boilers. To use your existing radiators effectively, you must usually wrap the home in two or more inches of foam and have very efficient windows.
Before replacing an under performing furnace, there are many things you can check out to get it back on track. For example, when was the last time the furnace filter was changed. Here are some guidelines to helping you understand how your gas powered furnace works and how you can make it provide heat more efficiently.
If you are due for a furnace replacement, you can reduce the size of the furnace by adding extra insulation to your walls and attic. You can increase the R-value of your home to the point where only a small space heater is needed throughout the winter months.
Although electric heaters are the most efficient they are also the most expensive to operate. They should only be used where there is absolutely no other choice or in climates where they are rarely required. An electric heater operates like an electric stove. You turn the burner on and the circular metal burner glows red. The burner is basically a low resistance piece of metal that allows high current of electricity to pass through and it dissipates the heat.
The most popular form factor for electric heaters are space heaters.These types of heaters are designed to heat one room, rather than the whole house. They come in several different styles. Some have large radiant dishes with an electric coiled burner in the middle. Some use oil filled column radiators. And, still others use fans in a box.
An electric furnace is designed to heat the whole house centrally, just like its gas or oil fueled counterpart. However, you wouldn't see one of these used in a temperate climate, but the best application would be in a climate where the winters are warm most nights, so the furnace would only be used in a rare instant.
You see these a lot in California and other warm climates. They typically use natural gas and are locally attached to a wall (in the case of space heaters) or where a wall and floor meet in an open area in the house (in the case of a floor heater. They typically radiate heat by convection rather than a blower. So the closer you get to the heater, the warmer it is. This can be smoothed by adding more insulation to the home. In most cases they are more efficient than central heaters because there are no ducts to loose heat.
The indoor unit collects moist warm air from indoors and sends it outside. The outdoor unti is the workhorse and makes the most noise. The indoor unit is very quiet. In terms of efficiency, these types of coolers can save as much as 30% over central air conditioning systems by not using ducts.
During the summer, an overhang on the equator side, prevents direct sun light into the house. If you are in a hot climate, you can bury a large diameter tube two meters into the ground around your house to pipe in cool air from the earth into your living space. You can open vents in your ceiling and use the hot raising air to draw the cool air out of the conduit.
Hydronic radiant floor heating systems use a boiler to heat up hot water and a pump to circulate the hot water in plastic pipes installed in a concrete slab. The pipes, embedded in the floor, carry heated water that conduct warmth to the surface of the floor where it broadcasts energy to your the room.
Separated radiant heat zones are controlled by one thermostat and served by a manifold which distributes the flow of warm water to the individual circuits of tubing within each zone.
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