The best time to plan on acquiring a new unit or upgrading your home heating system is now! There are many different types of heating systems you may want to consider. Every system has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to look at them wholesomely before making a decision. The following are some of the common and efficient heating systems.
This is a central heating system preferred by most North American households. The furnace works by blowing heated air through the duct system and delivered to rooms all over the house. Registers and grills play a crucial role in this process. Because the warm air is delivered through ducts, the system is called forced warm air distribution or ducted warm air system.
You can decide to power your furnace with fuel oil, natural gas, or electricity. Within the gas or oil furnace, the fuel is mixed with air and then burned. The US Department of Energy is responsible for developing furnace standards. When buying a furnace, look at the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating which is an estimate of the seasonal efficiency, part load and average peak situations.
These are special purpose water heaters which distribute the heat generated in hot water. The heat is then given up as the water passes through the radiators leaving the cooler water to return to the boiler for reheating. Hot water systems are referred to as hydronic systems and may use heating oil or natural gas.
In terms of efficiency, condensing gas-fired boilers are more preferred than non-condensing boilers.
One of the unique features of a heat pump is that it is a two-way system; working as an AC during summer and a heater during winter. It scavenges heat from the outdoors and discharges it in the house.
Heat pumps are in two main categories: air source and ground source. The air source get their heat from the atmosphere during winter and uses the same atmosphere as a heat sync during summer. For the ground source, it gets heat from underground and discharges the same back to the ground during summer. Though expensive to purchase, ground source heat pumps have been billed as the most efficient. Their operating costs are much lower and this gives you a return for the high initial investment.
Heat pumps deliver more energy than they consume in terms of electricity because the power they take in is used to move heat and not to generate it. The efficiency of air source heat pumps is measured in terms of heating season performance factor.
Other than the three main systems, there are direct heating systems such as gas-fired space heaters, electric space heaters, and radiant flow heaters. If you feel you need extra support to select the right heating system, get in touch with a local HVAC contractor.