If you have been looking at your heating bills and wondering where all your money is going, then you might want to think about switching to an alternative heating solution. There are a number of different options out there, each of which offers a number of benefits. To help you get a better idea of the opportunities available to you, here are some of the facts about two of your options: space heaters and heat pumps.
What is a space heater?
A space heater is a small appliance that can heat a single room. In most cases, space heaters can be moved with minimal effort, meaning that you can reposition your heater to direct the heat to a certain area of a room. You can even move the heater to a different room or a different building entirely if your situation calls for it. The two main types of space heaters are radiant and convection space heaters.
Radiant Space Heaters – A radiant heater projects heat directly to objects in the room, including people. This means that you will feel the heat as soon as you turn the heater on. The main drawback is that radiant heaters don't actually warm the air in a room, which means that the room will go back to feeling cold once the heater has been turned off.
Convection Space Heaters – Conversely, convection heaters generate heat and add it to the air, which will greatly heat up a room over time. The biggest problem is that such heaters take a while to really make you feel warm unless you are in the direct path of the fan.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is an appliance that can act as either a heater or an air conditioner, depending on what you need right now. Heat pumps tend to boast high efficiency when the temperature inside your home is fairly similar to the temperature outside, but that efficiency can fall off quite a bit when it comes to dramatic differences in temperature.
Air-Source Heat Pumps – These heat pumps are fairly easy to install, since they will operate much like a central air conditioner. They will move heat in and out of your home, but are very sensitive to the differences in temperature mentioned above.
Geothermal Heat Pumps – Your other option is to get a geothermal heat pump, which is installed beneath your home. This is a more complicated and expensive process, but you will end up with a heat pump that is much more resilient against dramatic differences in temperature. Since geothermal units draw heat from the ground rather than the air, they have a lot more energy to draw from when it comes to cold winters.