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Cold? We have many heating solutions

The Israeli winter doesn’t last long but definitely makes its presence felt. Here are just some of the winter heating solutions suitable for a house, an apartment and public or commercial buildings.

Important things to know before choosing a heating system

A number of things need to be taken into consideration before choosing a heating system.

First, where in Israel will the system be used? The Ministry of Energy has divided Israel into four climate zones. Each has its own winter conditions and requires a different heating solution. The four zones are the shoreline (requires an average of 440 hours heating a year), the coastal plain and the lowlands (requires an average of 600 hours heating a year), the mountain regions – the Golan, the Galil, the Negev and Jerusalem (requires an average of 900 hours heating a year) and the dry areas and the valleys (requires an average of 240 hours heating a year).

An additional element that should be considered what floor of the building will the heating system be installed on. The ground or the top floor of a building require more heat than others.

How well is the area insulated and sealed? Locations such as restaurants or stores where doors may be open for many hours during the day loose heat at a steady rate and require significantly greater heating to offset the loss. Also, how well the space is sealed off from draughts is also important. Effective sealing can save up to 30% of heating costs.

The size of the space is another important factor. The larger the area or the higher the ceiling, so it is harder to heat and requires more energy.

What heating solutions are available?

There are many heating solutions available today. They differ in the way the provide heat, their use of energy and their costs.

Domestic solutions

Electrical heating – radiant heaters, hot air blowers, convector heaters. They all have the distinct advantage of being cheap to buy and relatively easy to move from place to place. Hot air blowers heat quickly and efficiently when there is to quickly heat a small space (a bedroom when getting ready in the morning).
But, on the other hand, they are less than efficient in larger spaces and most (all the radiant heaters) could be dangerous if they are touched or come into contact with inflammable materials. It is important to point out that, in relation to other heating solutions, electric heating devices are more expensive to use.

Radiators – the radiator is considered to be a more pleasant way of heating as it produces a pleasant heat and doesn’t dry the air so much (some radiators have a water tank that provides extra moisture). An additional benefit is their quite operation and their relative safety (one reason for their use in children’s rooms) and the fact that they have a thermostat to regulate use. Their drawback – difficult to move from one location to another and an uneven distribution of heat (it’s only comfortable close to the radiator) which makes them inefficient for larger spaces.

Solutions for larger spaces

Air conditioner – air conditioners are efficient in regular homes and also in larger spaces.
Their main advantage is that they are significantly cheaper to operate than other heating solutions.
Their drawbacks – they are noisy, the dry air they use to heat the room (it can even cause a headache) and the relatively high cost of buying and installing an air conditioner.

Stove/fireplace – This is an option that may not be suitable for everyone. The high cost and the constant maintenance (cleaning, buying wood, maintaining the fire etc.) doesn’t always make it worthwhile despite the pleasant heat it generates.

Patio heaters or industrial heaters – these are designed for businesses or other institutions.
They are aggressive solutions for much larger spaces, open spaces or even outside.

Under floor heating – Here to, the heat produces is pleasant, uniform and child friendly.
But it involves an initial expenditure that includes purchase and installation and possibly replacing the floor as part of a hone make over (unless it’s a home or apartment not yet built) due to the need to electrical conductors under the floor.
This type of heating system is recommended for homes of 150 SqM or more.