Home Heating in Texas
Even the mild Texas winter calls for a heating system that keeps the frost at bay. In the deepest parts of the season, low temperatures hover around 40 degrees. They can even dip well into sub-freezing temperatures. When the cold bites, bite back with a home heating system.
What is the best home heating system for Texas?
Most modern homes and apartments in Texas use a central heating system. It is a part of a complete heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Though their processes are separate, the heating and air conditioning functions work together in your HVAC system. They share the same ductwork that distributes the warmed or cooled air throughout your home.
How does central heating work?
Central heat uses a heating device, such as a furnace in a utility area, to warm the air that’s already in your home. You’ll often find furnaces in a utility closet or a garage. Each one has 4 parts:
- Burning system that distributes and burns fuel
- Heat exchanger that moves heat from one solid object to another
- Blower that moves cool air over the heat source to warm the air
- An exhaust pipe that moves byproducts and cool air outside of the home’s circulation
Your furnace’s burning system burns fuel, usually oil or gas, which creates combustion gases. These gases move into the heat exchanger. The blower forces cold air over a gas-permeable material.
After the air warms, it moves throughout your ductwork. It’s the same set of ducts that your air conditioning uses to bring you cold air in the hot Texas summer. In fact, the fan from your central heating system still works to circulate air in conjunction with your air conditioning.
Is an Electric Heater Efficient?
Electric heaters are 100% efficient. They convert all of their electricity into heat. Except for distribution, electric power is not used for anything that doesn’t generate heat. Central heating systems use electricity to power burners, blowers, and heat exchangers. But electric heaters convert electrical energy into warmth.
Stagnant, rising warmth with limited distribution is not always the best. Electric heaters are very valuable for:
Electric heaters don’t have to work hard to push heat into different facets of a single room. Studio apartment dwellers can save money with an electric heater.
These trendy new small living spaces can maximize heating efficiency with electric heat. Like studio apartments, there’s no need to move air throughout multiple rooms.
Rooms that aren’t connected to an existing home heating system, such as a garage or utility closet, need an independent heat source. Electric heaters are perfect for heating single rooms with minimal power.
Are Radiators a Heating Option in Texas?
Radiators can warm homes in Texas. They are rare because of the long warm seasons.
The radiator is actually a large version of the heat exchanger you’ll find in your central heating system. It transfers thermal energy generated by hot water or steam.
The most common type of radiator uses steam’s natural pressure to distribute heat. The pressure that forces steam upward can also move it through pipes. There’s no need for a separate distribution system.
Automatic heat distribution is ideal for larger, taller buildings. They heat towers such as those in big Texas cities like San Antonio and Austin. But steam’s heat loss ratio is too high to maximize heat efficiency.
Hot Water Radiator
This system of using convection to distribute heat from hot water to the air is a rare find in new construction.
Convection is the tendency of heat to rise. Systems like hot water radiators can take advantage of this by moving air upward across hot pipes to warm air and eliminate cold air.
In a hot water radiator, cast iron or copper pipes with fins fill with hot water that heats the fins. Cold air is pulled to the bottom of the pipes and blown across the fins to pick up heat. The hot air is then circulated throughout the room.
For home heating in Texas, you’ll save the most money and enjoy the most heat with a central heating system. If your home is already optimized for air conditioning, you can enjoy maximum heat at a low cost.