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Heat. Up here in the northern part of the US, we cannot live without it, especially during the winter months. Most new homes are going to have either a gas or an electric furnace. The new models of both are way more efficient than they were even a few years ago. But keep in mind that the price of both electricity and natural gas fluctuate, not only within a season, but also over the course of a year.

As you consider ways to heat your new home, take a look at a few options to the basic furnace. Here are a few ideas:

Heated floors. 2 main types exist. Electrical or hot water. Both will make your floor feel like a warm beach beneath your feet. Both need electicity to run.

Wood or pellet stove. The price of pellets has held fairly steady over the last few years. Might make a great secondary source. Get the battery backup type pellet so it will run in a power outage.

Wall mounted space heaters. Come in 110v or 220v systems. Produce fast room heat when needed. Electicity required.

Gas fireplace. The gas will run in a power outage, but the fan will not.

All of these will make good secondary heat sources. As you consider all of them, do a bit of research on the prices to run each type of fuel in your area.


Kevin Robinson is a building consultant. He is formally educated in general residential construction as well as "schooled" on the job. Formerly licensed as a general contractor in the State of Idaho, he currently shows potential owner builders how they can save thousands managing it themselves.  He has written guest articles for a few construction type  magazines and also publishes his own small newsletter for owner builders. Email Kevin at


Next time, hire a building consultant!.

Comment balloon 1 commentKevin Robinson • October 21 2009 09:08AM


We just put in heated tile floors. I was not sure if I would even notice. I did! It is awesome. They warm your feet up before you even know that they were cold. I feel spoiled in my new bathroom. Heat rises so having the floor heated warms the room too! Great suggestion!-Dinah Lee

Posted by Dinah Lee Griffey, Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties (Windermere Peninsula Properties) over 9 years ago