Even in areas like Lakeland where winter temperatures are mild, there may be days when you will need to close the windows and turn on the heat to stay comfortable. The best way to heat Florida homes varies based on many factors. The information below will help you make a choice that will serve you well for years to come.
Efficiency is Key
If you want to stay warm during the chilly nights without paying a small fortune in energy, it is important to find an energy efficient heating system. The term “efficient” simply means that your system makes the best use out of whichever fuel it uses, whether that fuel is electricity, gas, oil, or even wood. Efficiency ensures that you can keep your home warm and comfortable at the lowest price. Before you go out and buy a heating system, remember that the best way to heat a Florida home is with efficient appliances.
Heating Options and Their Overall Efficiency
There are several ways to heat Florida homes, and each one offers its own unique set of benefits and downfalls.
- Space heaters. These come in many varieties, and they’re by far the simplest to install. Just plug them into a wall outlet, turn them on, and wait for the temperature to rise. Unfortunate, space heaters are usually quite inefficient, and they can be fire hazards when they are not used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Heat strips. Heat strips are usually electric, and in most cases, they’re designed to supplement a heat pump when temperatures outside are below about 40 degrees. They are a good choice to heat Florida homes that are small and well-insulated as this can boost the strips’ efficiency. They are usually not as suitable for larger homes that are not well-insulated.
- Heat pumps. When it comes to efficient ways to heat Florida homes, you cannot go wrong with a heat pump. These are the most cost-effective heating systems out there, and because Florida’s winters are very mild, supplemental heat is rarely necessary. Heat pumps are expensive in terms of purchase and installation, but they last anywhere from 30 to 50 years with proper maintenance.
- Furnaces. Gas, electric, and oil furnaces are not as popular in Florida. For those who prefer the traditional central heating and air setup, they can be quite efficient. They cost more to run than heat pumps, but less than space heaters and heat strips.
- Wood or pellet stoves. If your home is very small, or if you only plan to heat one or two rooms, a wood stove is a great choice. Like space heaters, these can get very hot to the touch and may not be suitable in homes with small children. These must be properly ventilated for safety, and some people find that regularly stoking the fire with wood or pellets is tedious.
The best way to heat Florida homes depends on the size of your home, your household, and your budget. Heat pumps are by far the most efficient options, followed closely by newer-model electric and gas furnaces. For quick heat, or to supplement a heat pump, space heaters and heat strips can certainly do the job.