We need artificial heating to keep a home, office or indoor workplace warm in winter. Economical and ecological heat production is covered in this section of the website which can be helpful and useful to those needing to save money without sacrificing their indoor climate needs and comforts.
Keeping warm when the weather is cold is a basic human necessity and in some cases can even preserve life in situations where it gets too cold to survive.
That's why we need it but all too often we are pushed in the direction of using devices that are inefficient while relying on expensive energy sources to provide that warmth.
While it is perfectly understandable that power companies need to set their process to provide their business with a working profit to insure they remain in business, it is unfortunate that the expense of energy sources has to be much higher than it needs to be through the choice of heater type. Many households spend a huge percentage of their budget on energy for running HVAC systems or heaters when often that cost can be reduced by making certain changes to the way that heat is delivered and maintained inside the building.
Using energy hungry electric heaters is generally the most expensive way of keeping warm in the home or work space, in a similar way that running air conditioning in the summer does. However, many people opt for this method because of its simplicity, cleanness and convenience.
Yet the cost of even this form of heat generation can be reduced by taking certain measures to make sure more of that warmth is kept inside the space where it's needed and less is allowed to escape to the outside.
The obvious way to keep the temperature in the comfort zone for longer and for less cost in terms of energy consumption is to make sure the building is correctly insulated and all sources of unwanted draughts are plugged. It really is a case of preventing the warm air from escaping through gaps in the walls or ceiling that are often present in buildings but are rarely noticed by its inhabitants.
There are several ways in which to insulate a building from attic insulation to double glazing windows and padding walls. Plugging gaps in door and window frames with caulking is a relatively simple way to cut down draughts that bring cold air in and allow warm air to escape rapidly.
A more detailed article on this subject is provided that expands on this subject can be found in the list below.
If your building doesn't specifically require that electricity be the main energy source for heat generation, there are several much more economical fuels that can be used instead. These are also covered in separate, detailed articles, but here is a brief overview of the more common and convenient ones.
Natural gas where available is generally much cheaper unit for unit than electricity for heating, but even this resource is finite in that the earth has only limited supplies that are rapidly dwindling. As supplies become more and more scarce, the price will naturally rise. So if you are considering making changes now, it might be circumspect to choose a more sustainable energy source.
Where wood is plentiful as in many rural settings, the cost is often very low and this can be a very cost-effective fuel to use as long as local forests are managed and new trees are planted to replace those that are felled. Solid fuel burning furnaces can also be run with coal and other combustible recyclable fuels such as used cardboard and paper that is compressed into blocks prior to use.
Propane gas is another relatively cost effective fuel alternative to electricity especially in those areas where solid fuels are not locally available and are more expensive. Again, propane being derived from oil is a finite fuel source that will rise in price as supplies are reduced.
To break this subject into its more easily digestible components, several articles have been included in this section of the site to provide more detailed reports and information on its separate parts. Clickable titles to these several articles can be found below. For more information on heating economy, visit Energy.gov Home Heating page.