3 Types of Heating: Which Is Right for Your Home?
When you’re building or outfitting a house, you’ll have important decisions to make about your HVAC system. One of those decisions is how you’ll heat the house. You have three main heating types from which to choose. Discover which one might work best for your home.
A furnace is an old-school heating choice with modern updates. Furnaces work by blowing air, heated via combustion, through ducts. Furnaces come in different fuel and air types. Most modern furnaces run on either electricity or natural gas. The latter is more energy-efficient, but you will need to already have a natural gas line running to your home or plan for one in a new build.
Furnaces come in many different styles. A forced draft and condensing furnace are more energy-efficient than forced air or natural draft styles. Forced draft furnaces are small and feature combustion air blowers, which pull air through the heat exchanger. Condensing furnaces feature a heat exchanger that’s highly efficient in transferring heat from the combustion area.
One of the big choices you’ll make with furnaces is whether the furnace is single-stage, two-stage, or modulating. The categories relate to the amount of control you have over the natural gas flowing into the furnace. Single-stage furnaces offer the least control — they’re either on or off — while modulating furnaces offer the most control.
Most homes in the United States run on furnace heat. Regulations are changing to promote more energy efficiency, so it’s a good idea to look at some of the most efficient varieties available.
Another method of heating your home is with a boiler. The central idea here is that the boiler uses natural gas to heat water inside the appliance. Like a furnace, the boiler uses a heat exchanger to transfer the heat produced by burning the natural gas. However, in this case, the heat is transferred to water that’s then pumped into the system.
Boiler systems consist of a closed loop. The heated water goes into radiators spread throughout the house. The radiator, as its name suggests, radiates heat into the room. The water continues its journey through the radiators in the house. It then returns, in a cooler form, to the boiler to repeat the process.
A modern update on the old-school radiant heat is radiant floor heating. This system runs the same way except you don’t have radiators throughout your house. Instead, you have tubes installed under your floor. The boiler provides hot water for these tubes, and the heat radiates up from the floor.
If you have a boiler system, radiant floor heating can be a nice supplemental heat source. However, it can be expensive to install.
A heat pump is a more integrated system than the previous two. It is, in fact, a two-way heater-air conditioner. The basic premise of a heat pump is to transfer existing heat either in or out of the house, depending on what’s needed.
The most common style of heat pump is the air-source system. A heat pump condenser resides outside. It collects heat from the ambient air. Depending on what’s needed, the heat pump either transfers heat from the condenser into the house or from the house into the condenser.
Another style of heat pump is ground-source. As the name suggests, the heat exchanger gets its heat from the ground. With this system, the contractors install a system of tubes underground. The tubes collect heat from the ground and store it for heating. In the summer, the pump takes heat from inside the house and transfers it to the tubes, which store the heat in the ground.
A heat pump is a very energy-efficient heating choice. A ground-source pump does require adequate ground for the tubing. However, an air-source pump is more compact.
Look over your heating options, and decide which one makes the most sense for your new build or remodel project. When you’re ready for a new heating system, contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar.