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Home Heating Tips in Western North Carolina

temperatures in Hickory NC

The year-round mild climate of the foothills is one of the area’s most attractive features. No matter what the temperature in Hickory NC, maybe, you’ll be able to go outside and take advantage of the many activities we have to offer.  In fact, owners of Carolina mountain properties often say they moved here to be free of the weather extremes back where they came from.  Why keep shoveling snow when you can enjoy the mild Lenoir North Carolina weather at The Coves Mountain River Club?

Of course, there are times of the year when a little extra warmth in the house is welcome.  If there’s a bit of a chill in the air, we can light the fireplace – not only for its heat but because an open fire becomes the perfect place to sit and read or talk or just lose yourself in the dancing of the flames.

You may have had experience with oil heating, and it’s popular here, as well.   Working with our design team at The Coves, many of our buyers select heating oil for their new homes because they know it tends to burn hotter than other commonly used fuel and therefore can usually generate heat faster.

Replacement oil is delivered by tanker truck, and it’s necessary to have a path to the access point of the tank cleared at all times to allow replenishment.  Most of our residents use Bumgarner Oil (828-322-4377).  They’ve been serving Hickory, NC, and the surrounding counties since 1954, providing a full spectrum of petroleum-based fuels, bio fuels and lubricants for business or home.  

There are several ways to distribute heat through a home.  Forced-air systems, central air conditioning and heat pumps use ductwork.  Radiant heating systems have their own method of distribution.  And the older steam and hot water radiators are based upon an entirely different technology.

Some of our buyers ask about heat pumps as a viable alternative.  They are highly efficient, reducing the electricity used for heating up to 50 per cent compared to the electrical resistance method used in furnaces and baseboard heaters.  And a heat pump can dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and better cooling in the warmer months.

Radiant heating has a number of advantages. It’s usually more efficient than forced-air heating and baseboard heating because it eliminates duct losses. And people with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesn’t distribute allergens. There are three types of radiant floor heat:  air, electric and hot water. 

Air can’t hold large amounts of heat, so radiant air floors are not cost-effective in residential applications.  Because of the relatively high cost of electricity, electric radiant floors are practical only if there’s a significant thermal mass such as a thick concrete floor and your electric utility company offers time-of-use rates.  But hydronic (liquid) systems use heated water pumped from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor.  They are both popular and efficient.

No matter what system you select, there are things you can do to maximize its effectiveness. 

Installing a programmable thermostat can reduce annual heating and cooling costs by ten per cent.  Adjust your shades and blinds to bring in sunlight during the cooler months and block it on warmer days. 

Choosing the heating system for your new house can be overwhelming.  Luckily, our design team knows the pros and cons of all the alternatives – and they’re experts on our local weather.   What’s the lowest temperature in Hickory NC, likely to be?  Do Carolina mountain properties get snowed in?  (Answer:  not often.)  Ask all the questions you want to.  It’s our job to make sure you’re happy.

When you’re ready to start enjoying our great Lenoir North Carolina weather in a new home of your own, stop by and talk to our consultants.  Take a guided tour of the property.  Watch the sunset from the balcony at our beautiful mountaintop Pisgah Mountain Lodge.

We look forward to showing you just how great life in the foothills can be.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit.

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