What Type of Heating System Will Be Best for Your Home?
As the cold winter weather returns, you’ll want to have a well-functioning heating system in your home. While there are many options out there, it can be helpful to understand the various pros and cons of each system. This way, you can determine which one is best for your needs.
Furnaces are the most commonly used type of heating system in the United States. This heating system uses a blower fan to deliver heated air throughout your home via a network of ducting. You’ll commonly hear furnaces referred to as forced-air systems.
Furnaces can be powered by natural gas, oil, propane, or electricity. When powered by oil or gas, these systems use a combustion process that creates toxic fumes. These fumes are safely vented outside. With an electric-powered furnace, there is no combustion process. Heat is produced via coils, and there are no noxious by-products that need to be vented outdoors.
The Pros of Using a Furnace
Furnaces are fairly affordable for the average homeowner, and they’re very versatile when it comes to the type of fuel that they burn. This type of heating system heats up your home very quickly.
The Cons of Using a Furnace
Furnaces that burn oil and gas can pose a fire and carbon monoxide risk when they malfunction. Having a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector is necessary to ensure the safety of your home and your family.
Boilers were a common heat source many years ago for homes and apartments. Some buildings still have them. Boilers use a central boiler that is responsible for circulating water or steam throughout pipes in your home.
These are typically radiator units that force steam through pipes that emit heat into your home. This type of system is capable of providing zone heating. Boilers can run on natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and even biodiesel blends.
The Pros of Using a Boiler
Boilers don’t produce dry air like other types of heating systems. They can run on various types of fuels, so they’re very versatile for different regions of the country.
The Cons of Using a Boiler
One of the biggest drawbacks of boilers is that they can’t be combined with cooling components. You’ll have to purchase an additional cooling unit to enjoy year-round HVAC comfort.
A fairly newer type of heating system on the market is the heat pump. This system works as a heat transport system. It will extract heat from the air outdoors and transport it to the inside of your home. This works even in cold temperatures.
Heat pumps are comprised of indoor air handlers and outdoor compressor units. Ductless mini-split systems can be installed in various rooms throughout your home for better zone control. Heat pumps also work as a home cooling system during the hotter summer months. Heat pumps run on electricity or natural gas.
The Pros of Using a Heat Pump
Heat pumps are energy-efficient and offer more flexibility when it comes to installation. They don’t require any ductwork, which makes them a great choice for an existing home with no ductwork. When fueled solely by electricity, heat pumps are very safe for homeowners and don’t require any special venting.
The Cons of Using a Heat Pump
Heat pumps have been known to lose their energy-efficient operation when temperatures dip below freezing, and they have to utilize auxiliary heating. Without ductwork, heat pumps use on-the-wall or in-the-ceiling vents that are more visible than forced-air systems.
In-Floor Radiant Heat
In-floor radiant heating works to create heat from the floors of your home. Hot air rises, so the whole room will be warm. Some radiant floor systems utilize plastic water tubing that is positioned inside concrete slabs and wood floors. Others utilize electrical wiring in stone or ceramic flooring.
These radiant systems are effective at providing heat for your entire home. They can be fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane, or even solar hot water systems. This particular type of heating system is more costly than traditional furnaces.
The Pros of Using In-floor Radiant Heating
The main advantage of this type of heating system is that it provides steady heat across your entire home. You don’t have to worry about potential cold spots, and you can choose from a variety of fuel options. Additionally, the components of this type of system are hidden from plain sight.
The Cons of Using In-floor Radiant Heating
While in-floor radiant heating systems can be more aesthetically pleasing than other options on the market, they’re also costlier to repair. Many times, the flooring will have to be ripped up to fix the heating system.
Another less popular type of heating system is the electric baseboard. This system is comprised of various baseboards that sit along a wall in each room throughout your home. Each room will have a specific thermostat that is used to control the baseboard in that room.
Baseboard heat is created by electricity. More specifically, an electric current flows through the baseboard’s heating element, and the electrical resistance of the element causes it to heat up. The heat produced by an electric baseboard naturally spreads throughout each room.
The Pros of Using Electric Baseboard Heat
Electric baseboards are a very simple option for heating your home that relies on electricity. Since they don’t have many moving internal components, there aren’t a lot of maintenance costs involved with this particular heating system.
The Cons of Using Electric Baseboard Heat
Since baseboards rely solely on electricity, they can be relatively expensive to run. Their physical position on the bottom of walls can also be frustrating when it comes to your interior design. Since electric baseboards get extremely hot, they can be dangerous for small children or pets who might touch them.
Wood burners and pellet stoves can be utilized as a home heating system with the right amount of daily labor. These stoves create heat by burning wood or pellets as fuel. Homeowners must resupply their burners at least once a day to maintain adequate heat.
Unless you have a very large open-concept home, you’ll need to supplement your wood burner with a circulation system. This can be similar to a forced-air system where you have ductwork and a blower fan directing the heat produced by the stove to the various rooms throughout your home.
The Pros of Using a Wood Burner
Wood burners and pellet stoves are much less expensive to fuel than other types of heating systems that use oil, gas, or electricity. The burner itself is very inexpensive compared to other options as well.
The Cons of Using a Wood Burner
Wood burners and pellet stoves require regular labor. Instead of just turning up your thermostat, you’ll need to feed wood or pellets into your stove at least once a day. Additionally, it can be harder to create a consistent temperature throughout your home with this heating system.
Expert Heating Services
Polar Air & Heating, Inc. offers expert heating installation, repair, and maintenance services throughout Las Vegas, NV and surrounding areas. We can also assist with all of your cooling, light commercial refrigeration, indoor air quality, humidifier, air purifier, air filtration, new construction, and ductless mini-split needs. Contact Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today to get the professional assistance that you need with your home.