Types of Home Heating Systems and How to Choose One

In this blog post, you’ll read:Home heating is a system that assists in keeping a particular temperature in offices, homes, and other buildings. It involves setting up an accepted temperature on the thermosta
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What is home heating?

Home heating is a system that assists in keeping a particular temperature in offices, homes, and other buildings. It involves setting up an accepted temperature on the thermostat. Yet, the heating system works to set that temperature.  

Before buying the home heating system

One more thing you should do before you begin obtaining quotes or evaluating your options. Boost the effectiveness of your house.

 Do your rooms have adequate insulation? What about ceiling fans? Do the windows have a draft? The more energy-efficient your house is, the smaller your heating unit will need. So you will have extra cash in your wallet.

It’s time to buy a heating system once you’ve decided what kind you want. Although your heating expert will be able to offer advice, the choice of what you need rests with you. Ensure that you talk with them and ask the following questions before making a decision:

1. What energy star rating does this item have? The greater the energy star rating of the appliance, the colder your environment. So, upgrading from an 80% to a 90% rating is not worthwhile if you live in a more temperate area.

2. What size unit would be ideal for my house? Your home’s size and efficiency will determine this. Only buy a larger unit than what your home requires.

3. What problems could this type of fuel or system pose? Even while heating systems are more advanced than ever. Yet, certain risks are still involved. It is particularly if you need help understanding the maintenance problems. Also, if you use natural gas, you should get the essential carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. It helps to prevent unintentional exposure in the event of a leak.

4. What type of upkeep will a system like this need? Various maintenance levels may be necessary for certain types of heat and the associated machinery. And repairing leads to spend of money.

Is the system environmentally friendly?

Home heating systems are environmentally friendly, one of the consumers’ top concerns. The type of system you have will determine the answer to this query. Some systems don’t emit pollutants. Some home heating systems, like electric heaters, are environmentally friendly. Other home heating methods, such as gas furnaces, can be less environmentally beneficial. They release emissions that affect climate change. Thus, picking a home heating system that complements your way of life is crucial. It also needs environmental ideals.

Types of Home Heating Systems

  1. Hot Water Baseboard Radiator
hot water baseboard radiator
hot water baseboard radiator

A hot water baseboard system is referred to as a hydronic system. Using a central boiler to heat water that circulates via a network of water pipes is another more contemporary type of radiant heating. Thin metal fins that encircle the water pipe are commonly composed of carbon steel. It radiates the water’s heat into the room as it travels to low-profile baseboard heating units. This is a modernized, improved version of the previous upright radiator systems. Hot water baseboard heaters usually cost between $450 and $1,200 to install new or repair outdated models, but they can last for several years.

Distribution: A boiler heats water pumped to “fin-tube” baseboard units installed on walls. For efficiency, the fins improve the heat absorption surface area. Natural convection distributes heat. Heated air rises from the baseboard heater while chilly air descends toward it.

Fuel Sources: Fuel oil, liquid propane, natural gas, or electricity can all be used to power boilers for hydronic systems. Solar heating devices may also be helpful to them.

radiant heating
radiant heating

2. Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is another type of heating system, including radiant heating. Commonly, a boiler is used to heat the water in in-floor radiant heating systems. It circulates through a network of PEX piping hiding beneath a concrete slab or fitted under a floor. In the same way as a conventional boiler, they run on oil, liquid propane, and gas.

The pipes radiate heat into the floor as hot water moves through the unit, emitting heat into the area. After cooling, the water is recirculated to the boilers and warmed.

These systems usually emit quite comfy heat since they heat the items in the room. These systems provide some of the finest energy efficiency for warming a home. Yet, installing and maintaining radiant floor heating systems may be very expensive. Broken lines can be challenging to locate and fix if buried beneath a concrete slab.

Although electric radiant in-floor systems exist, they could be more robust and more effective. They are put in baths where they can warm the tile floor to make it comfortable to walk barefoot.

3. Furnaces (Central Heating)

One of the most famous forms of heating systems is the furnace. These systems are also called forced air systems. They heat the air before distributing it around the house while bringing cooler air into the system for warming. A significant component of a furnace system will run on oil, liquid propane, gas, or electricity. A burner heats the heat exchanger or heating coil in each type.

The air in the system heats up when the fan moves air over the heating element. The unit distributes warm air to enter the rest of the building through a network of registers and ducts in the walls.

Consumers can install high-quality filters to enhance the quality of the air. However, since they only warm the air (and not the actual objects in the room). The heat in the house can change between the times when they are on and off.

There are different types of furnaces available in the market.

  • Modulating furnaces
  • Electric furnaces
  • Oil furnaces
  • Gas furnaces
  1. Modulating furnace

These furnaces are the most expensive available. A modulating furnace modifies the amount of gas it burns to achieve the desired set temperature. You can precisely measure the temperature due to it. These systems don’t lose energy by switching on and off repeatedly. They are the most energy-efficient furnaces since they operate at lower energy rates.

  • Electric furnace

 Electric furnaces are a viable option for heating in winter if you don’t have access to natural gas lines. These furnaces use metal-like electric heating components to warm the air being cycled. Compared to other types of furnaces, they are affordable and lighter.

oil furnace
oil furnace
  • Oil furnace

 

These furnaces warm the air by burning oil, which they then distribute via ducts and vents. They are utilized in cold climates and turn oil to heat. Due to the utilization of oil as fuel, they are an expense.

  • Gas furnace

 

gas furnace
gas furnace

Gas furnaces are among the most popular models of furnaces used by homeowners. A burner ignites gas sprayed out in a jet to produce hot combustion gas, raising the air’s temperature. The ductwork and vents are used to move the hot air. Since they use gas as a fuel to heat the air, these furnaces are economical.

4. Direct Heating Systems

heating systems
heating systems

A direct heat system is a traditional method of getting heat directly from the heat source. Your house may be kept warm without an exterior unit or a maze of pipes and vents. Due to its modest heating output, this system is ideal for a small space or room.

Different types of direct heating systems are available in the market.

  • Unvented gas-fired heaters
  • Gas-fired space heaters
  • Unvented Gas-Fired Heaters

 

unvented gas fired heaters
unvented gas-fired heaters

The unvented gas heaters are particularly risky to use since they lack vents. These traditional heaters have been in use and sale for many years. Due to the risks to one’s health and safety, experts advise against using these heaters. Such gas heaters can suffocate a room if there is no adequate ventilation mechanism. It is essential to hold them close to a window.

  • Gas-Fired Space Heaters

The gas-fired space heaters lack ducting and outdoor units. It can be floor furnaces, freestanding, and wall-mounted. Yet, these heaters use natural gas, propane, or kerosene oil. These portable, small heaters work well to heat a single room. They are inexpensive and easy to install without expert help. Compared to unvented gas-fired heaters, they are manually controlled. It has fewer safety risks.

5. Ductless Heating Systems

ductless heating systems
ductless heating systems

The ductless heating system is referred to as a ductless heat pump. It heats your house without using a complex network of vents and ducts. Despite needing a different system for each room, this system is simple to install. Yet, it is less expensive than a central heating system. An interior unit is inside your home, while an external compressor is outdoors. This is a freestanding system. In comparison to the central heating system, it is more energy-efficient. Experts can install the system easily and quickly within a day.

The kinds of ductless heating systems accessible in the market are as follows:

  • Window AC with heat
  • Portable standing AC with heat
  • Heat pump
  1. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a more recent and effective way to heat a home. These types use outside-located units that collect heat from the air and use it as a heat source. Usually, a water pipe absorbs the heat and transports it to a heat exchanger inside a duct. Heat pumps may take heat from the outside air, even below freezing.

Geothermal heat pump systems are also available. These heating systems consist of a system of underground pipes. The ground is a great site to scavenge heat because its temperature is constant throughout the year.

Although these systems are effective, running pumps and fans requires electricity rather frequently. However, they have two significant advantages over other systems. They are simpler to install into a preexisting central air duct system than other systems and generate more energy than they use.

The common types of heat pumps used are:

  • Ground source heat pump
  • Air heat pumps
  1. Ground source heat pumps: 

Geothermal heat pumps, known as ground source heat pumps. It distributes heat across your home by taking it from the earth or groundwater. They are employed in areas with more consistent temperatures throughout the year. Installing these heat pumps involves burying a hollow coil in a substantial trench. The cost of a ground-source heat pump is high.

ground source heat pumps
ground source heat pumps

Air heat pumps

In the winter, air-source heat pumps use outside air to warm your home. Yet, in the summer, they reject heat outside to cool your home. These central air conditioners are installed similarly to regular central air conditioners. Cheaper than ground source heat pumps are air heat pumps.

air heat pumps
air heat pumps
  • Window ACs with Heat

Window ACs with heat are your best choice if you want to keep warm all year long while saving money on energy. They enable you to switch between winter and summer air conditioning modes. They are simple to install and energy-efficient. These don’t need ducts to work, like other ductless heating systems. Many options on the market today can accommodate both small and large spaces.

  • Portable Standing Air Conditioner with Heat

A portable standing air conditioner with heat is the perfect option if you need to become a user of window air conditioners with heat. Compared to other ductless heating systems, the installation is simple and less expensive. The bottom of portable standing air conditioners has wheels to ease mobility. They are lightweight. They are ideal if you need to move your heater around or have a tiny area.

6)  Gravity Air Furnace Systems

gravity air furnace systems
gravity air furnace systems
  • Best for a long-lasting heating system with little maintenance

Gravity air furnaces, which came before forced air systems, also transfer air via a network of metal ducts. However, gravity air systems work on fundamental physics. The warm air increases, and cool air drops rather than forcing the air with a blower. The systems’ reliance on direct convection currents causes the temperature adjustments to be gradual.

In a basement, a gravity air furnace heats the air, which then rises through ducts and into the various rooms. A network of cold-air return ducts allows cool air to be returned to the furnace. Gravity air furnaces, often known as “octopus” furnaces, can be found in many older homes.

Since they are no longer used, maintaining gravity air systems should be cheap. They still function well in many older homes. Liquid propane, natural gas, or fuel oil can all be used to power gravity air furnaces. Since these systems are ancient and electricity was not used in their age, they are rarely powered by it.

Distribution: A system of metal ducts is used to distribute conditioned air.

temperature adjustments to be gradual
Temperature adjustments to be gradual

7) Boilers

Water heaters with specific uses include boilers. In contrast to furnaces, this system transfers heat using hot water. This loses heat as it passes via radiators or other fixtures in your home. The boiler circulates water using pumps rather than ducts. The procedure then involves reheating the chilled water in the boiler. A hydronic system is another name for this technology. Gas or other natural fuels are used to power the boilers used by residential consumers.

Valves that control water flow and temperature are used to operate boilers. Boilers are simpler to set up and operate than furnaces. In the winter, the boilers’ heat is dispersed throughout the house.

For your home, you ought to get a high-efficiency boiler. Boilers should be maintained annually to prevent any issues.

The fuels that boilers consume can also be used to classify them. The following are some instances of how costs and emissions vary between various fuels:

• Natural gas is a widely used and reasonably priced fuel for boilers. • Heating oil is another popular choice in the US Northeast because it is a utility service, eliminating the need to plan fuel deliveries by truck. Although it is more expensive than natural gas, it is still an efficient fuel. Building owners must arrange delivery of heating oil because it can only be supplied by truck and must be kept in supply.

• When the owner has access to significant quantities of organic waste that can be converted into biofuels, biomass is a practical fuel for boilers. When biogas or biodiesel must be acquired from a third-party supplier, biomass heating can be quite expensive.

Additionally, propane is employed as a fuel for boilers. Like heating oil, it needs to be delivered by truck but is more efficient and produces fewer emissions.

Which Heating System is Best for You?

Overall, it is up to you to decide on the system you want to use based on your requirements. Always select a heating system that is easy to use, energy-efficient, cost-effective, and safe.

A central heating system is an ideal option if the price is not an issue and you need to manage the temperature of your entire home. However, ductless heating systems are a fantastic option if you seek a less expensive substitute. They want to control the temperature of a single room. Additionally, they’ll help you stay cool during the heat.

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