Choosing the best home heating system for you is not just a case of aesthetics, although they do have a major role to play. You need to think about your environmental leanings, the age of your property and how easily you will be able to access extra fuel or a back up resource, should you need it.
A necessary consideration for any build, home heating systems can often be overlooked in favour of more exciting projects, but we think it's important to give this a lot of thought now, rather than regret it later!
Take a look at our suggestions of effective heating systems and see which you are using now and if you should be thinking about switching to another!
One of the most common forms of home heating system, radiators offer a great deal of warmth, with added flexibility as they can be oil or water fed and powered by a number of different boiler systems. The only real snag with radiators is that many people think of them as bulky and unattractive additions to their decor scheme.
We love this amazing radiator, which has been covered with an exciting fabric, as it shows that even functional items can be made beautiful with a little consideration and commitment. The choices could be endless, so you would definitely be able to find something that looks the part in your living room, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb!
This is a key question when thinking about your home heating system, as it will essentially dictate which style you go for.
Take a look at this lovely room, created by Biggs & Quail. It's clean, minimalist and unfussy and looks to have original, probably single glazed windows in it. If this is a listed building, changes to the glazing might be hampered, so a heating system that takes into account the size of the room, ceiling height, window style and decorating ethos is vital for preserving the look and heritage. It's not just as simple as slapping a huge radiator on the wall, so what would you do?
If you are keen to give in to eco-friendly leanings and have a relatively new house, or are in the process of building, you can dictate that you want an active solar home heating system put into place.
Far from still needing huge, ugly panels on the roof of your house, green technology has come a long way in just a few short years, meaning that solar panels can be small and attractive, while still highly effective. With solar heating, energy from the sun is collected and effectively stored in battery cells until you need to use it and can be converted into electrical energy to power your various heating sources, from underfloor through to standard radiators at just the flick of a switch.
Electric heating is a possibility for people who are living 'on grid' and have a reliable source of energy. We wouldn't recommend it for people who live in areas that are prone to outages though, as they could be left cold and suffering in winter if they have no other home heating system in place as a back up.
For urban homes, electric heating will be reliable and as such, can make for a great resource, but keep an eye on your bills in winter as they can quickly spiral out of control; especially if you use extra heaters or plug in appliances!
One thing that will rarely break down or leave you in the cold is a home heating system with a boiler furnace at the centre of it. Of course, this type of system relies on regular maintenance, such as chimneys being swept and flue liners being checked, but other than that, there is very little to go wrong!
Furnaces with back boilers are fantastic, as they are able to not only heat your room, but also all the water you could need and with a choice of fuels available, ranging from coal through to oil and wood, there will definitely be a style that will suit your home and your budget.
If you like the idea of a burner with a boiler, but think that it looks a little too old fashioned for your property, why not consider a modern woodburner? The perfect combination of great value, gorgeous aesthetics and reliability, a home heating system can be easily powered by a large burner that is regularly topped up with wood or fuel pellets. You could even consider a wood-fired range cooker that heats the whole house and your water supply, but again, this might not be the right fit, aesthetically, for you.
So there you have it; a huge variety of ideas for your new home heating system, with value for money, reliability and aesthetics all having been addressed. The only question is; which do you like the most?
For more heating inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Funky Fireplaces.