The most common way to heat your home is with a furnace or boiler. But there are a variety of other technologies available. Stay informed about the choices. There may be a time that you need to replace or upgrade your existing heating system.
* Active solar heating. The sun heats air or liquid. Homeowners often use solar heat as an additional heating source.
* Electric resistance heating. A costly way to heat your home, it converts the energy in electricity to heat. Electric heat is often more expensive than heat produced in the home using natural gas, propane, and oil furnaces.
* Heat pumps. Heat pumps draw heat from a cool area to a warm area, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps are energy efficient.
* Radiant heat. These systems heat floors or panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. They may use a variety of energy sources -- electricity, boilers, solar energy or wood and pellet-fuel heating.
* Space Heaters. Portable heaters or small space heaters are often used when the existing heating system is not adequate for a home or apartment. Small space heaters can be affordable to use if you heat one room or supplement heat in one area.
* Wood and pellet-fuel heating. This is an alternative home heating method that uses biomass or waste sources for fuel.