Nowadays, with the advent of technology, range of various home heating features and alternatives make a once simple decision quite difficult one now. Various considerable variables like fuel type and energy source, distribution system, efficiency ratings, performance and cost must be taken into account before arriving at a buying decision. But before you go through those, you must first decide on the type of residential heating system that is best for your home.
An appropriate and effective home heating system will not only provide warmth and comfort to your home but can also significantly impact your energy bill. Having a basic understanding of each home heating system can help you reap costs and comfort rewards.
Central Heating Systems
The most common central heating unit used in most households is a furnace. A furnace works by delivering warm air through ducts and out to air registers and grills to heat different rooms throughout the house.
Furnaces are commonly fueled by natural gas or heating oil or powered by electricity. For gas and oil Furnaces, combustion takes place and the heat byproduct is what is used to heat the home.
Newer furnaces have an efficiency rating (AFUE) of 90% and can go up to 98% depending on the model and added features. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace is.
Thinking of getting a furnace, choose among our modern and energy-efficient gas furnaces today.
Heat Pumps are designed to work both as a heater and an air conditioner. It gathers and uses the heat from the outside air with the help of an electrical system and distributes it to your home during winter and removes hot indoor air during summer to create a cool indoor environment.
There are basically two types of heat pumps. 1) Ground-source heat pumps which collect heat from the ground to heat and cool the space in any climate. They are a more efficient and sustainable choice. 2) Air-source heat pumps, on the other hand, use the outside air as a heat source and heat sinker. This type of heat pump is mostly used since it is cheaper and easier to install.
Contrary to furnaces, heat pumps do not use fuel but are powered by electricity to only move heat (not gather or produce it), resulting in more energy delivered than consumed.
Check out this blog for a detailed comparison between furnaces and heat pumps.
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Boilers are special-purpose water heaters. It works by carrying and distributing heat through hot water moving in pipes and passing through radiators throughout the house. Like furnaces, boilers are fueled by natural gas and heating oil, as well as electricity to power the pumps.
Boilers manufactured during 1992 and onwards have efficiency ratings of at least 80%. Boilers with added features and efficient controls can help reduce losses and operating costs while also improving comfort.
Browse our inventory of high-quality Gas Boilers you can choose from.
Direct Heating Systems
Gas-Fired Space Heaters
Gas-fired space heaters including wall-mounted, free-standing, and floor furnaces, with its little heat production and lack of ductwork, are only used to directly warm a single room. It is suitably used for cabins and buildings with rooms that have varied acceptable lower temperatures than other rooms.
This type of space heating is fueled by gas, propane or kerosene. On newer models, the heat produced by combustion is moved and distributed through pipes.
Electric or Portable Space Heaters
Electric or Portable Space Heaters that are either oil-filled or quartz-infrared is another way to directly heat a small space. Though inexpensive to purchase, electric heaters are costly to use since it uses a whole lot of electrical energy to produce and deliver the same amount of heat that a gas or oil-fueled furnace can provide. In fact, electric resistance heat is normally the most expensive form of heating.
If you live in areas with a mild temperature and you only need to use supplemental or occasional heating, this will do the work and can save you from expensive installation and ductwork.
Wood and Pellet Heating
The least costly way to fuel direct heating if by using wood. The catch in this type of heating is its controversial pollution-emission property. This caused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop Ordinances and Regulations for Wood-Burning Appliances and encouraged manufacturers to produce clean-burning wood stoves.
Pellet stoves, on the other hand, works the same way as wood stoves but are less polluting and produces better temperature control and indoor air quality.
Fireplaces, aside from providing direct space heating, also serves as an additional room adornment. Though it serves more of a decoration than a heat provider because of its very little heat output. In fact, a conventional fireplace generally loses more heat than it provides.
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the fireplace to provide heat, a tight-sealing glass door and a good chimney damper must be added and installed.
Check out our broad selection of premium fireplace parts and accessories perfect for replacement or new installation to help improve the efficiency of your fireplace.
State of the Art Heating
Radiant heating systems refer to heat directly supplied to the floor, wall, or ceiling of the house to the people, objects and materials in the room via infrared radiation, rather than just the air. Air, electricity or water can be used as a heat source in radiant heating.
Because of its lack of ductwork, radiant heating can be very efficient but it is also very expensive and complicated to install. Aside from its efficiency, radiant heating is also suitable for allergy-sensitive households whose allergies can easily be triggered by forced-air heating systems.
Ductless, Mini-Split, Multi-Split Systems
Ductless, Mini-Split, or Multi-Split Systems distribute heat through refrigerant lines instead of water or air passing through ducts. Though cost-effective and productive in cold weather, it is still sold at premium prices.
Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration systems are still fresh on the market and not yet widely available. It generally works by using a small generator to help meet other electrical demands of the house, as well as recover wasted heat and use it for space and water heating.
This type of heating system is best used in houses where heat is mostly wasted due to difficult insulation especially in cases of solid stone or brick homes.
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