previous
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Classic Cabinets
    Classic Cabinets
next
Pin It

Heating Options for a Small Home

A conventional furnace is overkill in a small, well-insulated house. Here are some better options.

Houses being built today are much better insulated (and often smaller) than the ones built even a few years ago. Nowadays, a well-insulated, 1200-sq.-ft. house may have a design heat load of only 10,000 to 15,000 Btu/hour, rendering even the smallest available boiler or furnace (50,000 to 80,000 Btu/hour) overkill. In this article, contributing editor Martin Holladay looks at more appropriate solutions: a single point source such as a woodstove, a pellet stove, or a direct-vent gas space heater; electric-resistance baseboard heaters; a packaged terminal heat pump (PTHP); a ductless minisplit heat pump; and a hot-water coil in a ventilation duct. The article includes two examples of homes that use one or more of these solutions: a superinsulated duplex with a design heat load of 12,000 Btu/hour, and a net-zero-energy house with a design heat load of 10,500 Btu/hour.

Heating Options for a Small Home

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More