I am one of those people who get cold easily – (yes, I wear my socks to bed) and at anytime in the winter, you’ll be hard-pressed to find me without a hoodie on. So it goes without saying that having a good heating system in my home is a necessity.
I’ve lived in homes with different types of heating systems and each has its pros and cons. If you’re in the market for a new heating system and are wondering what’s available out there, you’re at the right place.
The systems that are available include forced air, electric, geothermal, radiant heat, and even steam radiant heat. What is right for you depends on your unique needs and situation. The five systems:
Forced Air Systems
A forced air heating system is the most common option that is found in a residential home. This system is also common in many retail stores and in larger buildings. Air is heated in a furnace that will then be blown or into forced through ducts to various vents and registers. Many people may refer to this as a basic central heating system. The furnace that is used for a forced air heating system can use various fuels based on the availability in a specific area. A system may be powered by electricity, propane, natural gas, or fuel oil. The ductwork will be installed in the interior walls of a structure.
This type of heating system is common in homes that do not have access to natural gas, propane, or fuel oil. The most common option for a home is to install baseboard heaters that are controlled by the use of a thermostat. Individual units can also be controlled individually. One aspect about the use of an assortment of baseboard heaters is the cost of electricity will be higher than other heating systems. This will mean you may need to budget during the winter when outside temperatures drop.
This is a great option for a heating system as it is the most energy efficient. The heat used by the unit is obtained from the ground and uses water from ground wells. These systems use little electricity and are a great option to keep utility bills low during the cold months of winter. One thing to note is the setup cost of a geothermal heating system is much more than other conventional options.
Radiant Heat Systems
Homes and buildings with a boiler will have the option to use a radiant heating system. Water is heated in a boiler that is sent through tubes that are installed beneath the floor to distribute heat. Heat will radiate up through the floor to all the rooms in a home or building. The boiler for the system is powered by using fuel oil, propane, electricity, or natural gas.
Steam Radiant Heat Systems
Old homes and buildings with radiators in various rooms are radiant heating systems. A boiler is also used with this system to send hot water to all the radiators. Cold water is then returned to the boiler unit where it is reheated.