Choices in Home Heating Systems
When your heating system needs replacement, you’ll have choices to make regarding the type of system you want to replace it. You are never stuck with having to replace the unit with what was there before.
If you had one type of system, it can be changed to another. It’s all up to what you want to do and what your budget options are.
Furnaces are commonly the most popular choice for home heating by most homeowners. Furnaces are powered by gas, electricity, oil or propane. The furnace uses an air handler to send hot air through your duct work and then into your space.
Every heating unit has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest issue with a furnace is in their efficiency. The duct work needs to be tightly sealed with no air gaps or your heat gets lost through the attic and roofing system.
Another reason furnaces are chosen most often is because they can also be used for central air cooling in the summertime.
Heat pumps are one of the most common heating systems used in areas with more temperate climates. They can save you money on energy bills and can provide sufficient heating to keep your home warm.
Heat pump systems are generally best for our area of the country here in South Carolina, and many if not all homes here have this type of system. The heat pump works with your furnace as a primary heating system that automatically turns on the furnace as a secondary system when it’s too cold for the heat pump to run alone.
Since heat pumps are very efficient, you’re saving money over running a furnace the whole time. With this bonus, the system is more efficient.
Portable and Other Heating Options
Other options for heating in your home include fireplaces, wood stoves, space heaters or portable kerosene heaters. These heating systems can be very cost effective.
It is toxic to burn fuel in enclosed spaces, even when using systems that were meant for indoor use. The key is to have proper ventilation in your home, and if you don’t have it you are better off with not using these systems.
Boilers heat your home by heating hot water into steam that warms coils and transfers the warm air into your space. The air can be distributed to radiators, baseboard units or radiant heat tubes that can be placed under the floor.
A boiler system can be very efficient in areas of the country where there is a significant drop in temperature during wintertime. They make an excellent choice if you do not need central air or if your home is difficult to heat because they are extremely efficient.
For floor heating, the drawback is the cost of installing radiant heat in the floor. But over time you will recuperate the cost as you save money on energy costs and add value to your home.
Boilers can come in systems that function as combined water heaters and as air heating systems. In this case, the system is routed to serve you hot water as well as heat the air.