Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The various types of home heating systems

Your house may have one of the many types of home heating systems. These can range from tubing hot water through your flooring to propelling hot air from ductwork.

Whichever type of heating system you choose to have, it will have several benefits and drawbacks. So it's a good idea to have a quick review of how some of the popular home heating systems work and their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Forced air cooling and heating system:

This is the most common form of home cooling and heating system.


Air is heated inside a furnace. It is then distributed from the furnace through ductwork and in the rooms.

  • It is the only distribution method that can also be used for cooling
  • Air can be humidified
  • Air can be filtered
  • Inexpensive
  • Air can be dehumidified

  • Takes a lot of space in the form of ductwork
  • Moving air may distribute allergens
  • Air needs regular maintenance and filtration.

2. Radiant heat:

This system helps in providing the most comfortable and natural heat inside a house. It comes in a variety of forms, from an in-floor hot water piping to pot belly stove. It functions through a process of direct transfer or radiation of heat from a hot surface to a cold surface.

  • Even and comfortable heat
  • Energy efficient boilers

  • Slow heating process as it takes time for the surrounding materials to get warm
  • Expensive installation cost
  • Difficult to maintain.

3. Hydronic:

Very much like radiant heat, the hydronic system makes use of hot water to heat a room by a combining convection and radiation.

  • Quiet
  • Energy efficient
  • Temperature control

  • Baseboard convection/ radiation units should remain unobstructed and might provide challenges in placement of furniture and drape design.
  • Slow increase in temperature.
  • Air conditioning requires a different ductwork system.

4. Steam radiant

Steam radiators are not as popular in this day and age. They have cast iron upright radiators that radiate steam and heat. Steam radiants are of two types, two-pipe and one-pipe systems. With one-pipe, steam and water travel in a single pipe but in the opposite direction. In the two-pipe system, while the steam runs in one pipe, water condensate tends to return in another pipe.

  • Warms the room quickly
  • Comfortable

  • Radiators are unappealing
  • Radiators may restrict furniture placement
  • Air conditioning needs a separate ductwork.

5. Boilers

Boilers are heating plants that are used for creating steam or hot water for hydronic baseboard, steam radiator heating systems or radiant heat. They may use a range of different fuels such as, propane, natural gas, electricity or oil.

Hot water boilers are normally compact, small, low maintenance and energy efficient.

6. Geothermal

Geothermal is the newest heating and cooling technology. Geothermal heat pumps work like refrigerators that have the ability to run in reverse. The heat is basically taken from one source and then deposited in another area. Geothermal Heat Pumps have the ability to save up to 30 to 70 percent on heating and approximately 20 to 50 percent on the cooling costs in comparison to conventional systems.

Knowing your heating system helps you keep it in the best condition in turn helping you keep the maintenance costs low.