Whether you’re looking to replace aging home heating systems, developing a new office space, or something in between, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed with technical jargon, technologies, and concepts that blend together. There are dozens of variations of home heating systems available, but the vast majority fall into one or more of these four distinct categories: forced air, electric, hydronic, and geothermal. Consider what types of heating each system does, what benefits and drawbacks each offers, and what terms to be on the lookout for.
Forced Air Heating
Perhaps the most familiar home heating systems on the market, forced air systems are any heating system which utilizes air to distribute the heat. If your heating system involves ducts, vents, blowers, and filters, you have a forced air heating system. These systems can vary wildly in efficiency and method.
Heat pumps, hydronic coils, electric furnaces, natural gas, oil, propane, and much more can provide the heat in a forced air system. A system of ductwork and fans then work to push the heat throughout the property. There are two factors in determining the efficiency of a forced air system: the quality and efficiency of the heating method, and the quality of the ductwork. Bad or messy ductwork can result in significant energy and heat loss, so ensure yours is done correctly.
Electric heating, like forced air, encompasses quite a variety of solutions. Aside from forced air solutions using electric furnaces, you might see unique electric solutions such as in-floor and baseboard heating. These are heaters either along the baseboards of your home or beneath the floor, which warm the room by simple convection.
Depending on the area you need to heat, this can be inefficient or ineffective, but utilized correctly electric heating can neatly avoid problems common to forced air systems. If your home or office lacks the room for quality ductwork without massive overhauls, you enjoy the feeling of warm floors, or you simply don’t like the noise of forced air, these are great options.
Hydronic heating technology goes back a long way, but we’ve come very far from the steam heating of the last millennium. Modern hydronic heating systems, such as radiant in-floor heating, kick space heaters, and water-filled radiators, offer great levels of comfort, efficiency, and heating precision, at the expense of difficult installations.
Hydronic systems’ usage of water to convey heat offers a few unique benefits to how we feel heat, making it difficult to compete with a hydronic system for pure comfort. Like electric solutions, they’re also viable as home heating systems in locations which don’t lend themselves well to extensive ductwork.
Perhaps the most interesting of new home heating systems, geothermal heat pumps offer unparalleled efficiency at the expense of some efficacy. A geothermal heat pump can offer clean, quiet, environmentally-friendly heating and cooling while cutting utilities by as much as 70%.
Geothermal systems work by taking advantage of the constant temperature of the ground. A network of refrigerant-filled pipes buried beneath your home act in place of traditional lines running outside of your home, offering the traditional benefits of heat pump technology while overcoming the common flaws of the technology.
Want to know more about home heating systems, look into estimates for a system of your own, or ask any other questions? Contact us today!