Home heating and cooling have not changed terribly much in the past few decades for many Americans for the past few decades, in large part because these systems do not get replaced very often. A growing number of Americans are turning away from the old, costly and inefficient oil-burning furnaces because there are entirely new technologies that could help cut down on the costs of keeping homes comfortable.

1. Programmable Thermostats

Probably the most well-known new heating technology are programmable thermostats. Options like the Nest Learning Thermostat can be quickly set up to program itself to adjust the temperature based on when you’re home.

2. Radiant Heating

There is at least one quickly growing technology that has drawn some interest from homeowners, an approach known as radiant heating. This technology lays either hot water pipes or electrically-heated wires into the floor itself, allowing heat to rise from the floor without needing to rely on ventilation systems or inefficient radiators.


One air conditioning technology developed by government researchers that has been touted as a major breakthrough in home cooling in recent years is known as the desiccant-enhanced evaporative (DEVAP) air conditioner. These systems use chemicals known as desiccants to help remove water from the air as it comes into the air conditioner, and then uses an approach known as evaporative cooling, using water mist to cool down this dry air. The government approach takes another step, splitting the air and letting one stream get cooled by water while the other runs along next to it. This second stream gets the benefit indirectly and comes out as cool, dry air.

4. Passive Dehumidification

Passive dehumidification is an even newer approach that could turn out to be even more efficient. These systems pass air through a pair of coils filled with cooled refrigerant, which can bring the air down well below comfortable temperatures. But then the air will pass through a third coil filled with heated coolant from the earlier coils, bringing the temperature up to the target number. The refrigerant is then allowed to cool in a storage tank, all without needing to use any electricity for cooling.

When it comes to heating and cooling your home in SE Wisconsin, many new technologies are aimed at limiting how much you actually run your heater for energy efficiency and not changing the way the system works.