In the process of building, renovating and even buying a house, people often focus on the prices and size of the house, but forget about expenses that arise along the way and which can accumulate over the years – such as the money they put into heating the house.
The amount of money you will have to invest in heating depends on several factors: insulation, humidity, the ambient temperature (and climate), the direction your house is facing, the square footage of the house, and the heating method you choose.
So, what heating method should you opt for? We’ll recommend some options hear and list the main pros and cons for each so you can judge what the best option is for your home.
Air conditioners have become especially popular in urban areas, particularly where central heating hasn’t been installed.
Even the first investment in buying and installing an air conditioner is insignificant compared to what you will save in the long run. It’s enough to clean your air conditioner once a year, and setting it up only takes an afternoon.
If you don't have a higher-quality model and good thermal insulation in your home, the air conditioner won’t be of much use in climates where the outside temperature drops below -10°C. The lower the outside temperature, the less powerful your air conditioner actually is. So, when it’s even 0°C outside, your air conditioner will be working at 90% capacity, and as the temperature drops, so does the air conditioner's efficiency.
Many people complain about the air conditioner blowing directly at them (though this can easily be resolved by changing the direction and angle of the flaps), thus causing headaches, or drying out the air. This is, unfortunately, true. However, newer models have programs for humidifying the air which can, at least to a certain extent, neutralize the negative drying-out effect the heating has.
You’ve probably seen them in some older schools or used as a portable solution to heating smaller spaces. Truly, oil filled electric radiators have their place and serve their function, but they aren't always ideal.
They don’t cover a lot of space and, because of this, they're often used simply as additional (often transportable) heaters
Also, the heat they emit is concentrated around the heater itself. This makes them a great solution for small spaces, but they won’t have a significant effect in larger ones. Also, it takes a long time for the oil in the heater, and thus the space itself, to heat up.
Convector radiators use the physical process of convection to heat up air. They contain a metal part at the bottom which heats up quickly, thus heating up the air inside the radiator itself. Since hot air is more dense than cold air, it rises above it and begins to fill up the space.
The main advantage of convector radiators is that they can really heat up a room quickly. Also, since they’re extremely light, you can easily move them around. They also aren’t dangerous to the touch. The main disadvantage of convector radiators is that they’re expensive. It’s enough to just open a window or a door to disrupt the convection process, which means the radiator will have to work that much harder to heat up the fresh air that has come into the room.
The main advantage of storage heaters is that they use cheap night time electricity to heat up. The bricks that they’re filled with heat up during the night and emit the accumulated heat during the day. If the heater is large enough, you can save up to 50% on your electricity bill compared to the price you'd pay for heating the same space with an electric radiator.
If you have enough space to store wood, this might be the most effective way to keep warm. And it’s definitely the healthiest. Plus, the ambiance ends up being equally as warm as the temperature in the house.
The only disadvantage of using a wood-burning stove is that you have to put in the extra effort to get and prepare the wood to put in it, and always keep track of how much of it you have so you don’t run out. Also, you can forget about any kind of automation (the kind you'd have with an air conditioner).
There are, of course, other heating methods. Central heating, be it the sort that uses electricity (which is more expensive) or gas (the cheaper option) is a common solution for heating in family houses because it's extremely effective, but it's also the more expensive heating method you can choose. However, houses that have central heating, especially if it’s also installed in the garage, have a significantly larger coefficient used to calculate the use-value of a space which ultimately raises the value of the property.
If your house has good insulation, choose the option that consumes the least electricity. Otherwise, your choice will depend on the size of the house and your financial capabilities.