Alternatives to Central Heat and Air Systems

Alternatives to Central Heat & Air Systems

While many homes come with centralized heating and air conditioning, other climate control options are available. Some are more efficient or more ecologically friendly. Which one is best for you is just a matter of figuring out your needs and how best to meet them.

Radiant Heat

Radiant heat floors and ceilings are one alternative to central heating that many homeowners find both more effective and more ecologically friendly. This system works by running water pipes through the floors or ceilings of a room and then heating that water via a boiler or electric input. The water then runs through the pipes, and the heat that radiates out of the water is transferred into the room. This option doesn’t provide any sort of air cooling option, but it is useful as a central heating alternative for those willing to pay the high start-up cost if the house wasn’t initially built with a radiant heating system.

Evaporative Coolers

An evaporative cooler is an alternative to regular central air conditioning that doesn’t use any sort of refrigeration method to cool the air in your home. Instead this system uses moistened pads that draw fresh air from outside the house. This fresh air is cooled by the process of evaporation, and by the time it reaches the interior of the house, it’s significantly cooler than it was before. This type of system is common in drier areas, such as the American Southwest, according to the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is another useful alternative to central heat and air. Despite the name, a heat pump can deliver cool air as well as hot. These devices extract heat from the outside air and water and then circulate that air through the home. Heat pumps require less electricity to run than a standard central heat and air system, and they’re more efficient, according to HVACKey.com. However, it should be noted that heat pumps may require regular maintenance and their filters will need to be changed in a regular basis to keep them working well.

This fresh air is cooled by the process of evaporation, and by the time it reaches the interior of the house, it’s significantly cooler than it was before. Removing swarf from the factory system is common in drier areas, such as the American Southwest, according to the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy.

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