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Home Heating Systems

Home heating accounts for about 30 percent of the energy used in the home. | Photo courtesy iStockphoto.com

Home heating accounts for about 30 percent of the energy used in the home. | Photo courtesy iStockphoto.com

A variety of technologies are available for heating your house. In addition to heat pumps, which are discussed separately, many homes use the following approaches:

Active Solar Heating

Uses the sun to heat either air or liquid and can serve as a supplemental heat source.

Electric Resistance Heating

Among the most expensive ways to heat a home.

Furnaces and Boilers

By far the most common way to heat a home.

Wood and Pellet Heating

Provides a way to heat your home using biomass or waste sources.

Steam and Hot Water Radiators

While forced-air heating systems, heat pumps, and air conditioners rely on ducts, water and steam heat systems use radiators that only deliver heat.

Radiant Heating

Can draw on a number of energy sources, including electricity, boilers, solar energy, and wood and pellet-fuel heating.

Portable Heaters

Less efficient than central heating systems, but can save energy when used appropriately.

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