Heating & Cooling Options for Small Houses

Small homeowners have many options for heating and cooling. The U.S. Department of Energy states that 31 percent of home energy is used for space heating. Twelve percent of the home's energy supply is used for cooling and another 12 percent is used for heating water. Owners of small houses can heat and cool their homes at low cost while helping the environment. Determine a plan for action and budget before committing to a new home heating or cooling system.

Radiant Heating

Choose environmentally friendly ways to heat and cool your home.

Radiant heating systems are commonly called floor heating.  This system supplies heat directly to the floor or walls via radiation. The US.  Department of Energy describes radiant heating as the same heat you feel from the warmth of a hot stovetop across the room. This system also provides advantages to using radiant heating in small homes.  Radiant heating will heat the small home faster because it is more efficient than baseboard heating or forced-air heating. This heating method also conserves energy because no heat is lost through open ducts.  People with severe allergies will benefit from using a radiant heating system. The lack of moving air limits floating dust particles and reduces the symptoms of allergy sufferers.  Lastly, hydronic systems such as radiant heat use little electricity and function from gas boilers or solar heaters.


Ventilation is the cheapest way to cool a small home, according to the US.  Department of Energy. Ventilation is also energy-efficient and environmentally beneficial.  Ceiling fans and window fans are forms of ventilation that reduce the need for a central air-conditioning unit. However, ventilation is not effective in extremely hot or humid climates.  Ventilating the attic of a small home helps to cool the temperature of the overall home. Roof vents are a form of ventilation that prevents moisture accumulation and excess attic heat. 

Solar Heating

Solar heat is an environmentally conscious choice, according to the GreenBuildingAdvisorcom.  A solar hot water system heats waters for showers and laundry use. Solar space heating works best depending on the house's insulation and heat distribution system.  The climate location of the small home also determines how well solar space heating will work. Those who use only warmth from the sun to heat their home and water supply are classified as living "off the grid" These homeowners do not rely on the electric company's power grid.  The placement of windows and solar panels provides heat for the home.

About the Author

Althea Thompson began writing professionally in 2002, and her work has appeared on CBN News and in the award-winning "Focus Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Regent University and a Bachelor of Arts in communication and writing from Houghton College.

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