The Different Types of Home Heating Systems

Home Heating Systems

When the weather becomes colder, it’s easy to find yourself turning up the heat to keep your house warm. Choosing the correct type of home heating system will reduce your thermostat’s workload and help you save money on electricity. All heating systems have the same goal: to transfer heat to living spaces to maintain a warm and cozy ambiance.

Home Heating Systems

It can be difficult to ditch an old heating system and adapt to a new one that you are unfamiliar with. It can be interesting to see the range of heating technologies available as potential replacements if you have an older unit that needs to be replaced. All of these systems are available in a variety of models and sizes to suit your needs. Below we have listed different types of home heating systems.

1. Furnace

It is one of the most popular heating systems used for residential buildings. It uses hot air from a furnace and distributes it throughout the house via ducting. Additionally, it filters and humidifies the air. This mechanism can be a very cost-effective and practical alternative, as it takes up less space.  While furnaces can heat the air with electricity, propane, or oil, but natural gas is used in the majority of American houses. There are three types of furnaces based on fuel oil: gas furnaces, oil furnaces, and electric furnaces.

Fuel used:- Natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity are all options for fuel.

Advantage: Forced air furnaces provide both cooling and heating in a single unit.

Disadvantages: Gas furnaces have the potential to cause fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

2. Boiler

Traditional boilers and radiator systems can be found in older homes and apartments. They utilize a central boiler to circulate steam or water to radiator units throughout the house through pipes.

The hot water is heated in the boiler and then routed into baseboard units along the walls. Electricity or natural gas are used to power the boiler. The best thing is that this system is energy efficient and quiet. Homeowners can effortlessly regulate the temperature in their homes using this system. It’s important to keep in mind that raising the temperature takes time when heating with a boiler.

Fuel Used: Natural gas, propane, fuel oil, biodiesel blends, or electricity are all options for fuel.

Advantage: Provides pleasant heat without drying out the air as other heating systems do.

Disadvantage: Boiler systems cannot be combined with air conditioning for a year-round HVAC system.

3. Heat Pump

Heat pumps are the most recent advancement in home heating technology. They work similarly to air conditioners in that they take heat from the air and distribute it to the residence via an internal air handler. The mini-split or ductless heating system is a common heat pump system.

This system makes use of a small outdoor compressor and inside air handlers that can be positioned in various rooms throughout the home. Because they can be switched to air conditioning mode during the summer months, they can be a multipurpose investment.

Fuel used: It works using electricity or natural gas.

Advantage: Heat pumps do not require any ductwork which makes them cost-effective.

Disadvantage: These pumps are not effective when the temperature outside is too cold.

4. In-Floor Radiant

Radiant heating uses specific tubes in the floor to distribute hot water or electric heat. Oil, gas, propane, or electricity can all be used to generate heat.

While the radiant heating distribution system has a long lifespan, repairs might be costly if a problem emerges. The heat source system determines how long radiant heat lasts. When compared to other house heating systems, they are extremely quiet.

In-floor radiant systems are energy efficient and provide warm comfort to every inch of the house, even if they are slow to heat up and respond to temperature changes.

Fuel used: It can work using natural gas, propane, electricity, or solar systems.

Advantage: The system gives very steady and even heat across the entire living space.

Disadvantage: Maintenance of the radiant heating system is difficult because it is not easy to find out the hidden piping system. Sometimes you may need to tear down your floor to find the leaking pipes.

5. Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are easy to install and relatively inexpensive. They work using electricity. Due to the increasing price of electricity, electric heaters are hardly used as the major house heating system. They’re generally lightweight and portable, making them simple to move from one room to another. They also don’t have any moving parts, so they don’t need any ducting, air handlers, or other equipment to operate.

Electric heaters are a common choice in industrial heating applications because they offer advantages such as increased equipment life, safer operation, and system integration.

Fuel used: It works using electricity.

Advantage: Electric heaters are easy to use and can be set up easily at any location.

Disadvantage: They use a whole lot of power and might significantly boom power bills.

A hydronic or hot water baseboard heater distributes radiant heat in a room using hot water or, in certain cases, oil. These systems heat water that circulates through a series of water pipes to low-profile baseboard heating units using a central boiler. These are modern variants of the classic upright radiator. They promote heated air rise from the baseboard unit while directing cold air toward the unit for heating.

6. Baseboard Heater

The hot water is heated in the boiler and then routed into baseboard units along a wall. Electricity or natural gas are used to power the boiler. Homeowners can effortlessly control the temperature in their homes. It’s important to keep in mind that raising the temperature takes time.

Fuel used: Baseboard heaters can work using natural gas, propane, or electricity.

Advantage: These systems provide unique temperature control mechanisms.

Disadvantage: Radiators are slow to heat up and hot water structures cannot be blended with an air conditioning system.

7. Electric Space Heater

Electric heaters, often known as portable or plug-in space heaters, are a cost-effective option for homeowners who do not reside in cold regions. These are good temporary solutions that can give targeted and regulated heat in minutes after being connected to an electrical source.

Electric space heaters are oil-filled and work identically to a toaster in that they convert electric current straight into heat. Modern electric space heaters sometimes have cooling fans that can be operated on hot days, making them ideal for studio homes, home offices, or basements.

Fuel used: These systems work using electricity.

Advantage: These heating systems can heat the entire space very fast.

Disadvantage: Distribution of heated or cold air is limited as it comes from a single unit.

8. Active Solar Heating

Active solar heating, a more recent house heating system, uses solar energy to heat a fluid that is then sent directly into the interior space or stored for later use. Radiant heating systems, boilers, and heat pumps are commonly used to supplement these. Active solar heating systems, on the other hand, can use radiant floors, hot water baseboards, or a central forced-air system to transfer heat.

Fuel used: Solar energy.

Advantage: It’s an environmentally friendly technique of heating.

Disadvantage: Solar heating is still dependent on traditional heating systems to operate.

9.  Ductless Mini-Splits

Mini-split units eliminate the need for several air ducts, allowing you to establish multiple HVAC zones, each with its thermostat. This is especially useful in big homes and additions that don’t have ductwork.

Fuel used: It works using electricity or natural gas.

Advantage: No ductwork is needed

Disadvantage: When the climate is too cold, it is not efficient.

10. Fireplaces

Old methods are sometimes used for sentimental reasons rather than usefulness. Fireplaces, whether gas, wood, or electric, are excellent examples. They are most commonly used as part of a room’s décor, providing a warm glow but not acting as a heat source. Install a glass door and a chimney damper if you still like fireplaces as your primary heating source. This way you can control heat loss.

Fuel used: It works using wood, electricity, or gas.

Advantages: They provide an economic heating solution since they can work on wood as well.

Disadvantages: Compared to other heating systems, it won’t produce the same amount of heating power. In some cases, the fireplace will usually lose more heat than it produces.

Bottom Line

We hope that this post has guided you in exploring the various types of heating systems and determining the best solution for your home. Whatever system you choose, make sure you install and maintain it properly.