Getting It Right? Tips For Choosing The Right Heat For Your New Home

Posted on: 4 March 2021

When buying an existing home, buyers often must accept the heat type or source already installed in the home. Those who choose to build a custom home or completely renovate their current home are able to take more control over all aspects of the project, including the selection of heating appliances and the type of fuel needed to power them. 

If you are currently planning a new custom home building project or major renovation project, the following information will help you make important decisions about how it will be heated. 

Budget and availability 

According to industry statistics, the average annual cost for heating a home can vary greatly depending on the climate, type of heating fuel, and other factors, including the efficiency of the home's heating appliances. Before purchasing or installing heating equipment, homeowners will first want to explore the types of heating fuels that are most available in their area and their average cost to purchase. 

For example, homeowners who live in states where natural gas is widely available, such as the Dakotas, Ohio, and Colorado, may find that using it for their heating fuel is a budget-friendly heating option. Conversely, propane, coal, heating oil, and electric are likely to be more expensive heating fuel choices in these areas. 

When price is the most important consideration, homeowners should consider researching the cost of all types of heating fuel in their areas, along with the cost of heating appliances by fuel type to determine which one will fit best into their budget. 

Furnace or heat pump

Another important part of selecting and installing an optimal heating source in a new or renovated home is to decide if whether to choose a traditional furnace or a heat pump. In general, heat pumps are most effective in areas where winter temperatures remain moderate, without long periods of sub-freezing weather. 

Unlike standard furnaces which create their own heat by burning a heating fuel or through electrical current, a heat pump gathers heat from outside air or from the soil. In extreme climates, outdoor air and soil temperatures can prevent heat pumps from producing and maintaining enough heat to be considered as a reliable heat source. 

Homeowners who decide against installing a heat pump may find that the latest models of traditional furnaces powered by heating oil, propane, natural gas, or electricity can provide reliable heat at a comparable cost to that of a heat pump. 

Design and insulation

Another factor that will need to be considered when deciding on heating appliances and fuel types is the design and layout of the home and the amount of insulation, or R-value, it offers. Custom-built, new homes may find their heating bills are less costly than older homes of a similar size that have undergone a major renovation because most materials used have a higher efficiency rating.

This difference is often related to the use of more energy-efficient building materials and designs. Designing the home to take advantage of available passive solar heat or opting to situate the home where it will be protected from exposure to winter winds can add to interior comfort without increasing demands on the home's heating system.  

Renovated homes can also see reductions in heating costs by including plans to upgrade existing insulation, as well as utilizing high-efficiency supplemental heat sources for the renovated areas. Gas fireplaces, mini-split heating and air conditioning systems, and wood or pellet stoves are a few supplemental heating options known for offering economical heat in smaller spaces. 

Choosing the right heating appliances, coupled with an affordable, readily available heating fuel will help homeowners ensure lasting comfort in their homes. To get sound advice about all types of heating installation, take time to discuss your home building or renovation plans with a reputable heating contractor in your area.

Reach out to a local heating service today to learn more.