There are many types of home heating systems with several variations of each type. Every one of them has its advantages and disadvantages, and different homes will have different heating needs. Some homes may even use a combination of systems to heat it more efficiently. Here is a look at the most common heating systems used in homes.

Forced Air

This is the most common heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system in houses today. It consists of a furnace that is electrically powered and blows warm air throughout the building through a duct network. Forced air systems can quickly adjust the temperature in a room.

Advantages

  • Can use a filter to remove allergens and dust from the air, a humidifier or dehumidifier can be combined with this system
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Can both cool and heat a home
  • Highly fuel efficient

Disadvantages

  • Ductwork takes up space inside walls
  • The fan in a furnace can be noisy
  • Distributes allergens without a filter
  • Air can become dry without a humidifier
  • A mechanical system that can wear out
  • Needs to be replaced more frequently than other systems

Gravity Air

Before forced air systems there were gravity air systems. They work similarly by distributing air through metal ducts. Although, instead of blowing air, these systems rely on gravity to keep cold air down. Hot air is less dense than cool air, which is why hot air naturally rises.

Advantages

  • No moving parts mean this system can last a while without mechanical failure
  • Dependable and requires little maintenance

Disadvantages

  • Air is difficult to filter adequately
  • Less energy efficient
  • Takes some time for temperatures to change

Radiant Heating

This system relies on thermal energy to transfer heat from warm surfaces to cold spaces. This could be something as basic as using a wood burning stove to heat a room or something as complex as tubes with hot water circulating in them beneath a floor. Today, radiant heating is commonly used to heat a tile floor.

Advantages

  • Provides even heating
  • Energy efficient when heated by boilers

Disadvantages

  • Takes some time to heat up
  • Installing floor heating can be pricey
  • Hidden piping is difficult to maintain

Radiators and Boilers

Another common form of home heating is using radiators and boilers together. Centralized boilers use hot water or steam circulating through pipes to strategically placed radiators throughout the house. Traditional radiators are usually installed near windows in older homes.

Advantages

  • Comfortable to live in – does not dry out air
  • Updates available to turn a radiator into a wall-panel or low-profile baseboard
  • Modern boilers are highly energy-efficient

Disadvantages

  • Not aesthetically pleasing
  • Radiator location can limit window coverings and furniture placement
  • Cannot cool air as well

Heat Pump

The newest heating and cooling system is the heat pump, which extracts heat from a source and deposits it in another. It uses an indoor air handler and an outdoor pump to circulate refrigerant. Some of these systems extract heat from the air, while others extract it from the ground. A heat pump can save you 30% to 70% on your heating costs compared to other systems. They are becoming more affordable as technology advances.

Advantages

  • Can heat and cool air
  • Extremely energy efficient
  • Individual units allow for temperature control in each room
  • No ductwork needed
  • Quiet fans

Disadvantages

  • Better for homes in mild climates
  • Installation can be costly

 

If your furnace or air conditioner is in need of repair, call Home Comfort Center. No issue is too big to solve for our HVAC experts.


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