List Of Artificial Heat Sources}

Submitted by: Felix Chesterfield

Winter is coming on fast just a few weeks away at the time this goes to press (so to speak). As such, millions of Americans are beginning to turn the heat on in their homes. This is typically done with a simple flip of the switch at the thermostat. But the actual methods for heating are much more diverse. Throughout time, man has developed many ways to stay warm when the elements turn against him. Here is a look some of todays most common sources for staying warm:

Wood/Coal: These are the oldest methods for heating especially wood, which dates back to the time when man first harnessed fire itself. At their essence, these are sources for heating because of their ability to burn for extended periods. In the early days of human society, wood was the primary (and often only) source for heating homes during a winter climate, often through the use of a wood burning stove. As mining methods improved and coal extraction became more prevalent, coal has been used in the same manner. Coal is a more efficient burner thanks to its ability to have smaller amounts burn for a longer period when compared to wood. These are still used extensively for rural heating, but due to cost of use and storage they are now used much less in urban settings compared to centuries passed.


Electric: Electricity has become the most common method of heating in the modern world. An unintentional, but unavoidable, result byproduct of Edisons light bulb invention was that it gave off a tremendous amount of heat. This is still true of the design today as any female who ever used an easy-bake oven is aware. While it is viewed as inefficiency with regard to light production (wasted energy), it is the basis for how this energy can be produced specifically for home warmth through heating coils. Electric heat has advantages in that it is more abundant than other sources of energy, but it lacks efficiency compared to some other formats.

Oil/Gas: Fossil fuels still represent the most efficient form of energy. They burn the hotter and longer compared to other affordable resources that are available at this time. Natural gas is especially popular as a central heating source for modern homes. Due to the abundance of natural gas within US borders and political issues surrounding the reliance on foreign oil, gas figures to take an even broader role in the coming years. There is the downside of pollutants (less so with natural gas compared to oil) and the fact that they are finite in quantity.

Geothermal: It is interesting that most emergent form of heat is one of the oldest and the simplest. Geothermal heat is obtained by drilling down and obtaining heat from within the Earth. This is increasing in popularity due to its environmental advantages vs. other forms of heat and virtually no offsetting pollution. However, it is not yet feasible for all communities and still has a bit to go before it becomes cost efficient for most users.

About the Author: Home heating prices for Winter 2012 can be found at:

Business Week

. To learn more about a common tool used in transferring heat, investigate

. Current temps available at National Weather Service:


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