Home heating systems have come a long way from the humble fireplace, and advancements in technology. New options have made heating your home more efficient than ever, but the number of choices available today can make it daunting to choose a heating system.
However, knowing more about the different types of heaters on the market and their pros and cons will help you assess which system is best for your home and make your decision easier.
Boilers and radiant heating systems
Although the term “boiler” is sometimes used interchangeably with “furnace”, they are very different types of systems. Boilers heat water using natural gas, electricity, or propane, although the water does not boil, as the name suggests.
Unlike the forced air heating system, most boilers bring heat into your home through a radiant. A heating system such as traditional radiators, baseboard heaters, or aluminum panels in floors, walls, or ceilings.
Radiant floor heat is the most popular option, and it works best when paired with ceramic tile as flooring. Because it transfers heat without using air ducts, a boiler and radiant heating system can heat your home without circulating allergens throughout the house. Although the cost of installing the boiler can be higher than that of a furnace, it is as energy efficient as its dry-heat cousin. An old and functional boiler can be renovated by a professional to be more energy efficient.
Benefits: Non-allergenic warmth; very energy efficient; growing popularity in Jacksonville. Radiant heating systems can be controlled from room to room and take up less space than ducted systems.
Disadvantages: More expensive installation (copper pipes are generally used). The air conditioning system must be added separately; some technicians do not service the boilers.
Heat pumps use refrigerant to absorb heat from outside sources – such as the air, the ground, or even a body of water – and then use a heat exchanger to transfer it indoors. The most common types of heat pumps draw thermal energy from the ambient air or the ground. Heat pumps, in general, are becoming increasingly popular heating choices for homeowners.
Although air-source and geothermal heat pumps are more expensive than conventional heating systems, they can provide significant energy savings for homeowners who live in temperate climates.
Advantages: Very energy efficient; can be used all year round for heating and cooling. Can provide additional savings with water bills if fitted with a desuperheater, a plus that transfers excess heat to a hot water tank.
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Cons: Can be stretched in extreme temperatures; geothermal heat pumps can be expensive to install. However, may reduce energy efficiency depending on the amount and type of land surrounding your home. Becomes ineffective when used below 32 degrees ambient temperature.
Heating systems will affect how you feel in your home during the cold months as much as they affect your wallet. Before choosing a brand or even an installation company, it’s a good idea to answer a few questions.
How much heat do you want your system to produce? Also, How extreme are your winters? How important is energy efficiency to you? By answering questions like these and hiring a quality heating and air conditioning company, you’ll make sure you don’t wake up with a cold nose when the temperature drops each winter. Here are some other great tips for keeping warm in the winter.
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