You're adding a small addition to your home to create a home office. Or perhaps you have a small work shed in the backyard where you do projects year round. You need a way to heat these small spaces but don't want the expense of a forced air furnace. Here are some alternative heating approaches to keep those spaces warm when the cool weather arrives.

Heat Pump

This device draws heat out of the air or ground outside of the space and transfers it inside. Heat pumps work well in moderate climates where the weather doesn't get below freezing.

The heat pump contains a refrigerant gas that gets cool when compressed, much like your refrigerator. A compressor keeps the refrigerant cooler than the outside air or ground. The warmth from these sources is then drawn into the heat pump and sent out to the house. Heat pumps can draw heat in from very cold air or ground sources, but when the temperatures get to freezing, the pump must work too hard to capture any heat. 

In warm weather, the heat pump acts as an air conditioner for your space. By reversing the process, the pump pulls warmth from the space and deposits it outside.

Under Floor Heat

Radiant heat systems placed under the floor can warm a room using electricity or hot water. Under floor radiant heating systems warm the air resting on the floor. This causes the air to rise, warming the middle part of the room as it heads toward the ceiling. Once the air reaches the ceiling, it has cooled enough to sink back to the floor. There it is warmed again and the cycle repeats. 

Radiant heat warms the room evenly with no hot or cold spots. The floor always stays warm so your feet are comfortable. Radiant heat works well in drafty spaces with its even heat.

Two varieties of under floor systems are available for your space:

  • Hydronic heating - This uses water-filled tubes under the floor to warm the room. Hot water from your existing water heater, or a separate unit, circulates through the tubes to produce a moist heat in the room. It takes a few minutes to warm a room with this setup, but it is a good choice when you need to leave the heat on for long periods.
  • Electric heating - Insulated electric wires are placed under the floor with this system. This system heats up quickly to warm a small space.

For more information, contact a professional heating service like All American Plumbing & Heating.

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