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Unless you’re fortunate enough to be sitting on the beach in Hawaii or San Diego, it is probably getting a little bit chilly where you live. Luxury home buyers often have more to contend with when it comes to the elements- it is much harder to heat a large home with vaulted ceilings compared to a small 2 bedroom city apartment. Luckily, even if you don’t live in a sun-filled paradise, you’ve got plenty of options to keep your home warm this winter.
Radiant Floor Heating
Silent, practical, cost-effective radiant floor heating is an excellent way to keep your home toasty in a blizzard. Radiant floor heating warms up your rooms, creates no noise, and is relatively energy-efficient compared to most gas and electric heating options. The warmth from the system rises evenly from below, which keeps the temperature of the room uniform. An added benefit is the fact that you’ll never have cold feet again- a particularly welcome feature for bathrooms.
Radiant floor heating is typically more expensive than conventional forced-air systems, but in the long run, will save you money due to better efficiency since there are no ducts to leak air and waste energy. One thing to keep in mind- you won’t be able to cool your home with a radiant heating system, you’ll need a separate air conditioning system to keep cool in the summertime.
Did you know that the fireplace in your home is not just for decoration (probably)? People often discount fireplaces as a heating source because of the fact that they cannot reasonably heat a large home- and this is generally true. However, you can utilize a fireplace for “zone heating” which is a fancy way of using your fireplace to heat specific areas of your home.
Of course, this isn’t always practical, but if you want to heat say, your master bedroom, or the living room, a fireplace can be an excellent option. Remember that you’ll have to handle sourcing and paying for firewood, as well as cleanup, if you opt for wood-burning instead of gas powered. Some areas also have “spare the air” days where you’re not allowed to burn anything or use fireplaces so check local laws as well.
There are few things as comforting as a hot shower on a cold day- and one of those things is a shower or sauna session. Options for indoor steam showers are growing, and you can essentially turn your master bathroom (or other bathroom) into your own private Russian spa. While we’ve chosen to categorize saunas as indoor heating, they can be both- and often take the form of enclosed outdoor structures, usually made of wood and heated with specialized rocks- the same ones that you see folks pouring water on to create the steam.
Split Furnace Systems
In most cases, heating and air conditioning systems come in two layouts, either packaged or split. Most systems are split- which means that they contain an outdoor and indoor component. Have you ever seen a box on the side of a building blowing hot air? That’s the condensing unit or outdoor component of a split system. The indoor component is usually tucked away in a closet, basement, or crawlspace and is made up of an air handler, coil, and furnace.
Split systems provide both air conditioning and heating, which differentiates them from some of the other options on our list, and they are the most common method of heating/cooling new construction/luxury homes. If you want a (relatively) simple system that will get the job done- you’re probably looking at a split furnace system with multiple zones to efficiently heat the home.
In a similar vein, you can install fire pits to heat your outdoor spaces. We’ve all got fond memories sitting around the campfire- maybe on the beach, maybe on a camping trip- so why not recreate those fond memories in your own backyard?
A fire pit can be as simple as a hole dug in the ground, or as sophisticated as an iron-wrought bowl with ornamental flower decorations- the choice is yours. Fire pits make a phenomenal addition to your backyard entertaining space, pairing well with outdoor televisions and music systems, recreational activities, and generally acting as an outdoor gathering space for your friends and family.
Heated patios are becoming de rigueur for many homes, particularly in the luxury home/upscale space. They’re a necessity if you want to enjoy your outdoor areas during the wintertime. They make hanging out in your yard with friends and family a much “warmer” experience- literally and figuratively. There are several options when it comes to patio heaters, including:
Natural Gas Patio Heaters
These tend to cost more than electric versions but will save you money in the long run on your electric bill. They are connected to your gas line and offer continual heat, for as long as you need. Natural gas patio heaters are mostly available as standing units and offer less portability than other options due to the fact that they need to be connected to a gas line.
Propane heaters offer the cost savings of gas heaters with the portability of electric since they do not necessarily need to be plugged into a gas line and can be powered by gas cylinders. There are two versions- standing and tabletop. One caveat- propane heaters need the aforementioned gas cylinders to run, so you’ll be making some trips to the hardware or big box store to keep warm.
If you’re a pool owner, you’re well aware of how much it costs to maintain, clean, and power your outdoor pool or jacuzzi. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to only use it during the hot months- depending on your region, that could be as little as three months a year! While they may not be great for heating the inside or outside of your home, they can provide a great deal of warmth and comfort- even in the chilly winter months.
Unless you’re skating on it, or it is cooling down your drink, ice is typically an unwelcome addition to your day- especially if you’re driving to work early in the morning. Many new construction luxury homes in cold climates take advantage of heated driveways to reduce frustrations with traction, especially on long or steep driveways.
Passive Solar Design
In passive solar building design, the windows, floors, and walls of a home are constructed to collect, reflect, and store solar energy during the wintertime, and reflect heat away from the property during the summer. The difference between passive solar design and say, solar panels on your home is the fact that they do not use mechanical or electrical devices to heat/cool- they use the local climate, site analysis, and construction techniques like window placement, glazing, thermal insulation, and shading to cool/heat a home. Many new construction homes are built with these principles in mind- existing buildings can also be retrofitted/adapted to take advantage of them as well.
Found the perfect lot? Already own land? Call us today to schedule your free feasibility estimate! Know your total project cost before you commit to any decisions. We pride ourselves on a customer-oriented experience, always putting your needs first. You can reach the Thomas Sattler Homes Sales Team at <a href=”tel:7204493562″>Call (720)449-3562</a> or online at ThomasSattlerHomes.com.