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The Enemy Within Our Building

Updated on September 8, 2013

Keep Warm

A Cozy Home

There are many ways to heat any building or a home, whether it's the new "green" way to do it by geothermal heating, or the even more controversial way of "passive" solar heating, or the more traditional, tried and true method of a gas burning furnace. Boilers, also popular in some locales, are another way, using hot water as the source of heat, rather than hot air. The most common method, however, is called the "forced air" furnace, which blows heat out of the furnace with a fan through air ducts, after gas is burned inside the furnace to created the heat. Gas furnaces are more economical than electric.

Each of the different types of heating systems involves different installation procedures. With the common gas furnace, the gas line is run to the furnace, electric wires connect to a thermostat that automatically turns the furnace on and off, and a blower fan disperses the hot air through ducts into the occupied rooms. With a boiler, water pipes must bring water into the boiler before the water is heated and then dispersed throughout the building. Other heating methods involve various installations, such as solar collectors that use sunlight to heat air or a liquid, underground geothermal pipes that absorb heat from the ground, or placing wood burning stoves in the occupied rooms.

All the different heating systems require some ongoing maintenance to make sure they run properly and don't develop major problems often left undetected. Some common problems include dirty blowers, air filters that haven't been changed, and blocked ventilation pipes. Also, the units themselves will have a normal lifespan and could need replacement after a number of years. Thermostat replacement is simple, but often overlooked as a root cause of trouble. Repairs made by reputable companies with high ratings in the community are always the safest bet. Using Energy Star equipment to conserve energy also saves money for the consumer as well. Most home and building owners prefer to have an ongoing maintenance agreement with a heating company for regular check-ups and peace of mind.

People generally spend too much time indoors. This is an evolutionary phenomenon that has crept into the way of life in modern times. With the blessings of the many ways to insulate and construct homes and heating systems has come the disadvantage of making some people so lazy that they will stay indoors for an entire day. There are people in hospitals or those individuals who are disabled, who must be counted as the exception to the rule. But for most, getting out the door and into the natural surroundings is very important, not only for the chance to exercise in fresh air, but for meeting other people and having a better disposition from feeling a part of the community. A cozy home is an advantage for sure, but it should be placed in the context of more important things in life such as making contacts and communications with neighbors and seeing first hand what is going on outside the walls of one's home.


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