Heating & Cooling
Central heating and cooling is one of the greatest inventions of all time. The ability to control the climate in the home, where it matters most, is often taken for granted. Nevertheless, access to central heating is certainly one of the most important considerations in a home, no matter where you live.
In most regions of the Western world, modern homes are equipped with heating and cooling elements of one form or another. No matter how it is accomplished, homeowners often seek ways to maintain what they consider an optimal temperature for comfort, health, and, energy efficiency.
Controlling the Temperature
Heating and cooling a home depends on two main forces. First, there must be a method for either increasing or decreasing the ambient temperature in a space to the desired level. This is normally accomplished through machinery, such as a fan or air conditioning unit.
The second part of the equation is keeping the ambient temperature contained so that it does not bleed off into the surrounding atmosphere. This requires a good plan for insulating a home.
From the simple floor and area fan to the standard central air conditioning unit, technology has been keeping things cool for humanity for good long while. For hot spots in a house that don't seem to respond well to a central air cooling approach, there are window mounted air conditioning units as well as ceiling fans. The advantage to ceiling fans is they can be used in reverse, pulling air up instead of pushing it down.
There seem to be more approaches to heating a home than keeping it cool. Centralized heating, which uses a furnace to stoke up air that is blown throughout the house, is a common approach. Radiant heating, where the air is heated from one source and then moves away, or radiates, from it works very well. Radiators use this form of heating, as do radiant flooring solutions.
If a home is not well-insulated, all efforts to cool things down in the summer and heat things up in the winter will be for naught. In the end, you will change the temperature only a little, spend a large amount of money to do it, and become very frustrated. If you find yourself in this situation, it's time to start looking for cracks and gaps in the insulating armor of the home, then go about setting them right.