When it comes to selecting a heating system for your home, you have many options, and there are pros and cons for each. Since we have extensive expertise in installing, repairing, and maintaining heating systems for all types of properties, our customers often have questions about the different options available.
If you’ve ever been curious about the various types of heating systems available or what type of system would be best for your home, this post is for you! Read on to learn more.
Furnaces can be powered by natural gas, fuel oil, or electricity. Most simply, furnaces work by mixing fuel with air and then forcing warm air through your home’s ductwork. They can work through convection, where warm air rises and cooler air sinks, or by forced-air, where the system relies on a fan to push air through the ducts. Furnaces are the most commonly used heating system in North America.
A heat pump consists of indoor coils, outdoor coils, a compressor, and a thermostat. Imagine a two-way air conditioner: in the summer, the heat pump takes warm air from indoors and moves it outdoors; in the winter, the heat pump moves warm air indoors and cooler air outdoors.
There are two main types of heat pumps: air-source and ground-source. Air-source heat pumps pull from the ambient air, whereas ground-source heat pumps transfer energy from coils buried underneath the ground. While both are energy-efficient, air-source heat pumps are more economical in the long run. If you live in an extremely cold environment, a heat pump may not be the most practical choice for your home. These systems work best in moderate climates.
Just like furnaces heat air, boilers heat water. The hot water provides heat as it travels throughout the radiators in your home. Boilers can be very good at maintaining different heating levels in different rooms using zone controls. While gas-fired boilers are still common, steam-powered boilers are no longer widely used in North America.
Stoves and fireplaces
Stoves can run on wood or pellets, and they are quite effective when it comes to heating. Wood stoves can be more economical, particularly for those who chop and store their own wood. Pellet stoves, on the other hand, tend to offer greater temperature control and better air quality.
Modern-day gas, electric, and wood fireplaces offer more of a cosmetic benefit than an actual heating benefit for your home. Interestingly enough, the typical fireplace will actually cause your home to lose more heat than it provides! If you have a fireplace and want to be sure it’s contributing to the warmth of your home this winter, having a tightly-sealed fireplace door, an effective damper, and a source of outside air.
You’re probably familiar with electric space heaters. You plug them in, and they provide warmth to a small space. While they can be effective, electric space heaters are actually the least cost-effective way to heat your home. These heaters consume an excessive amount of power, so they’re best suited for intermittent use only.
Gas-fired space heaters exist, too. They don’t require ductwork, so these space heaters are best suited to heat single rooms. If you’re considering a gas-fired space heater, be absolutely sure to choose a vented model. Though unvented gas-fired space heaters are widely available, they’re banned for home use in five states due to associated hazards.
Modern heating technology
Ductless heat pumps, also called mini-split systems, are common outside of North America. These ductless systems consist of an interior wall unit and an exterior compressor. Mini-split systems are energy-efficient, durable, quiet, use a minimal amount of space, and can be installed without compromising the aesthetic of a room.
With a ductless system, it’s easier to maintain varying temperatures throughout your home, too. For example, if a family member in the living room prefers cooler temperatures, other family members elsewhere in the home can still be comfortable since the temperature can be controlled by room.
Ductless systems aren’t without their cons; they can be very expensive to install, and they do require regular maintenance. If you need to add heating or air conditioning to a ductless home, a mini-split system is an ideal solution. They’re also great for adding climate control to new additions like garages.
Radiant floor heat
Imagine a series of pipes carrying warm water beneath your floors, and you essentially have radiant floor heat. No more stepping onto a freezing floor in the dead of winter! Instead, your floors will be delightfully warm, which will help keep your body warm. This heating method works best on stone or concrete floors. Though efficient once installed, it can be difficult to find a designer and installer with the level of expertise needed to complete the job.
Questions? Blue Dot Services is here to help!
Want to review your options for heating your home with an expert? We understand you have many choices when it comes to the types of heating systems available, and the options can be confusing! Blue Dot Services is here to help every step of the way, including maintenance, installation, and repair. Our technicians are known to go above and beyond to ensure you have a safe, comfortable home throughout the winter.