This is one area that you have to do your homework as choosing the wrong type of heating for your house could end up costing you a lot over the long term. There are so many types and methods of heating currently available on the market which makes choosing the right one even more difficult. The first thing you have to decide on is which type would be suitable for your needs.
Radiators: This is when hot water leaves the heat generator ( e.g boiler) and through pipes enters radiators around the house and returns to the heat source to be warmed up again. This method has been used in Ireland for many years. The main problems with it is that in most cases there is a lot of heat loss in a room due to the fact that heat rises and before it has a chance to reach the other side it starts to cool.. The other disadvantages are that you will usually end up with a cold floor that you do not get with underfloor heating. The other point you have to consider is that you can not place furniture’s in front of radiators as it blocks the passage of heat, and therefore giving you less options with your decorations.
Underfloor Heating: This method has been in use in continental Europe for many years but it has only been in use in Ireland for the past few years. There are no radiators involved, only pipes which are placed all across the floor. Like radiators the heated water comes from the heat generator ( e.g boiler ) and travels through these pipes and gives even heat all across the room before it returns to be heated again. The main advantages of this system are the even heat you get through all of the floor with no cold spots and you do not lose out any space to radiators as everything is under the floor. One disadvantage this system might have is that initially it costs a bit more than the radiator system but over the long term it pays for itself.
Storage Heaters: This system works on the same principle as radiators but instead of the heat coming from a heat source and through pipes, the heat is generated in the heater itself. The main principle is that an element heats fire bricks until it gets very hot and then it stops. The heat is then radiated slowly into the air until there is no more heat at which point the process starts again. As this system works on electricity it is considered one of the most expensive ways of heating your house unless you mainly use it at night time and through night time rates of electricity. The main disadvantage of this system is that you can not have a lot of control over the heat. Once the bricks are hot you can not just switch them off.
Vented Air System works on the same principle as a hair dryer. The air heated through electrical elements and then is circulated around the house via ventilation tubes placed in the walls. The main disadvantage of this system is that unless you have fresh air going into the system all you are doing is circulating stale air around the house. The other problem would be that if there is not a good filtration system installed you could have problems with dust gathering in the tubes which would not be good for people with asthma. However, there are systems on the market that would filter out any bad air and give you constant warm fresh air. Go to Sick Building Syndrome for your options.
Wood Pellet Stoves are highly efficient, clean burning and totally automatic.