There’s a lot more to your home’s heating and cooling system than you might realize. It’s always helpful to know a bit more about the inner workings of where you live, since you never know when you might need that knowledge. There are multiple ways to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. The method you use depends a lot on the size and layout of your house, as well as where you live and when your house was built.
Boilers and furnaces
If you live in a house that was built one hundred years ago, you may be turning on a furnace at the beginning of your area’s cold season. You’ll typically be dealing with natural gas, although electric furnaces do exist and may be a good option for some households. If you like to sit by a roaring fire, a furnace won’t provide quite the same effect as a fireplace, but you will definitely be able to see some flames. Some people find that comforting; others find it unnerving. Carbon monoxide is a concern when you’re dealing with gas, so make sure you have a fully functioning carbon monoxide detector in your residence.
Everyone deserves to be warm in the wintertime. That’s true whether you’re living in New Mexico or New Jersey. So if your boiler or furnace malfunction, you should act quickly to find a quality repair team that will understand the urgency. You need a quick, detailed estimate of repair costs, not a bunch of hemming and hawing.
Window air conditioning units are found in places without access to central air. Some people consider the site of an air conditioner hanging out of a window to be low-class, but these people have too much time on their hands. There are also parts of the country that just didn’t feel the need to install central air in their homes and office buildings. Places like San Antonio, Texas, need central air to function properly. Places like Seattle, Washington, probably don’t unless there’s an unexpected heat wave. That’s why you get a lot of confused Southerners who move to the North and wonder where all the central air went.
Air conditioner units can also travel with you from home to home. You can’t say that about central air. If you’re moving to a second-floor apartment unit that doesn’t have central air, you can ask your landlord for permission to install a window unit. If the landlord says no, you can consider other options (or perhaps other apartments).
There’s something luxurious about coming home at the end of a long, sweaty day of work and turning on the air via a thermostat in the hallway. Like window units, central air units use air compressors, but there are different kinds of air compressors. If you’re not sure what differentiates a scroll compressor from a rotary compressor, that’s OK. You should know, however, that air compressors are key to making the whole system run. Central air conditioners are generally more energy-efficient than window units, so if you need to cool the house, central air is probably your best bet. If you only have one or two rooms that get unbearably hot, then a window unit or two might do. Central air units are also a lot more expensive to install, though, so on some level you’re paying a price for that efficiency. But if you can find a good system and a good installation team, you should be set for years to come.