Types of Heating Systems for Homes: A Helpful Guide
Nov 7, 2019
Despite what your dad may have told you, putting on a sweater does not produce the same result as turning on the heat. New construction heating or central heating is an important part of a home. Aside from being a comfort to count on when the weather gets chilly, centralized heating also protects the interior of your home, the pipes in your walls, and it helps keep your air ducts clean. Central heating systems come in several different forms, and each one offers a unique take on the same essential function. This helpful guide will review three of the most common types of heating systems for homes, with a brief overview of each heating system.
A furnace is the most common type of heating system for a home. A furnace is a centralized source of heat that is often attached to a centralized cooling system. The standard furnace that you would find in your space is typically powered by gas. However, it is possible for furnaces to be powered by other sources. Electricity, solar energy, propane, or oil can all fuel a furnace.
The furnace is what creates the baseboard for heat you feel in your home, but much like centralized air, it is pushed through the home via a large fan and blower motor. The same fan and blower motor that pushes cold air through the air ducts in the winter also pushes the hot air created by the furnace into your home.
The thermostat is what tells the furnace when to begin producing hot air. Again, the same way your thermostat controls cold air, it also controls hot air. The thermostat can help with indicating whether or not your heating and cooling is working properly, or if you need a heating or cooling replacement. When your house becomes too cold, based on the parameters you have established with the thermostat, the furnace kicks on to warm the house.
Heat pumps are completely electric in nature and use electrical currents to push hot air through the vents of your home. These systems are not nearly as common as furnace powered centralized heat, but they can be popular for small apartments and homes with a need for condensing heating requirements.
Working in a similar fashion to how an electric space heater might work, a heat pump uses the heat from an electric coil and then sends this heat throughout the house using a fan similar to that in a normal HVAC system. The heat pump system is typically located outside the home and is enclosed in the same way that a furnace and blower motor would be.
A geothermal heat pump is a very specific type of heat pump that uses the natural temperature of the earth to heat and cool the home. The average temperature of the ground, depending on your location on earth, hovers between 40 and 75 degrees. A geothermal heat pump uses the natural temperature of the ground source below your home to regulate your home’s internal temperature.
Because the ground below your home is a constant temperature, it means that the air pumped into your home often doesn’t need much adjustment in order to cool or heat the inside. A geothermal heat pump heats or cools the air circulating under your home, and pipes it into the house by using a system of pipes and coils.
Geothermal heat pumps are a great option for those who want to save money and avoid an expensive electric bill. It appeals to those who want to be energy efficient, and have a smaller carbon footprint. The lack of gas and minimal electricity usage of a geothermal pump means that less energy is used to heat and cool the home, saving consumers money while having a positive environmental impact for energy efficiency.
Boilers and Radiators
These two systems of heat are often used in conjunction with one another, though to clarify, these types of heating systems do have a singular purpose independent of one another. More often than not, a radiator uses a boiler to distribute the hot air that a boiler produces for homeowners.
A boiler creates steam heat using a pilot light and water. The water heats up and turns into steam. A radiator then takes the hot steamy air produced by the boiler and distributes it throughout the home. Most commonly, radiators are large grates in the floor where the hot air can rise up heating the home in the process.
When addressing your needs for centralized heat, it is important to establish a baseline and even ask yourself, how does central heating work to get a better idea of your heating needs. Your climate, home size, and even comfort level all play a part in what kind of heating system will work best for you. When considering a heating system and heating elements, be sure to enlist the help and advice of a professional team who can provide you with quality options. Just like with centralized air, it is best to pursue installing a new heating system in the off months, meaning summer for heat and winter for AC. No two homes have the same heating or cooling needs, but the right centralized heating system will ensure you are toasty warm this winter!