There are a lot of reasons you might want to learn more about home heating systems. With the unprecedented cold weather taking place in parts of the country right now, including the unlikely location of Texas, people are thinking more about how the efficiently and effectively heat their homes.
You might be considering a home renovation project and wondering if you should replace your current heating system to be more efficient and comfortable. You might also be looking at buying a new home, in which case you could want to learn more.
In industrial locations as well as schools and apartments, options like Beacon Morris convectors are often used.
However, what about residential locations?
The following is a rundown of some of the types of home heating systems most commonly used.
Forced Air Heating and Cooling
The most common type of heating and cooling system you’ll see in North America is forced air.
These HVAC systems use a furnace that has a blower fan. That fan delivers warm air to different rooms through ductwork.
Forced air systems can quickly adjust a room’s temperature, and the air conditioning systems can use the same ductwork and blower, making it a pretty efficient option.
The fuel sources for forced-air heating and cooling systems include natural gas, electricity, liquid propane, and fuel oil.
The benefits of these systems include the fact that they’re relatively inexpensive, and there are, of course, the combined heating and cooling capabilities. Downsides include the fact that the moving air can disperse allergens, ductwork takes up a lot of space in walls, and the fans can be loud.
Moving air also tends to get dry unless there’s humidification.
In-Floor Radiant Heating
A modern way to heat a home is in-floor radiant heating.
These systems heat materials and objects instead of just heating the air. For example, in-floor radiant heating will heat flooring and furniture. There’s usually hot water heated in a hot water heater or boiler that is used with whole-home radiant systems.
Radiant heating can also be installed with ceiling or wall panels.
The entire idea behind radiant heating is that the system moves heat from a surface to objects or people.
In-floor radiant heating benefits include the fact that the heat is comfortable and even. When radiant systems are heated by boilers, they’re also efficient.
Radiant heating is slow to warm up, however, and in-floor systems can be costly, which are downsides.
Boiler and Radiator Systems
If you’ve ever been in an older apartment building or home in the U.S., they likely are heated with a traditional boiler and radiator system.
These systems include a central boiler. That boiler circulates either hot water or steam through pipes, which then reaches radiators that are located around a house.
A typical radiator is a unit that’s made of cast-iron and is often located near windows.
Modern radiator systems move hot water using electric pumps to radiators.
The fuel source for a boiler and radiator system can include electricity, gas, fuel oil, and liquid propane. In some truly old properties, there may be coal that fuels these systems.
The advantage of these systems is the fact that the heat doesn’t dry out like it does when it’s forced-air. If you invest in replacing old boilers in a home with one of these systems, new boilers tend to pretty efficient as well.
A few downsides include the fact that radiators aren’t great to look at, and they block where you can put certain furniture. They also limit window covering options, and these systems aren’t combined with air conditioning.
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A newer form of radiant heat is called a hydronic system or a hot water baseboard system.
With these systems, a boiler is used to heat water. The water then moves through popes to baseboard heating units that take up less space than other types of radiators. These baseboard heating units have heat that’s moved by natural convection. The heated air goes up from the baseboard unit. The cold air falls toward the unit.
Hydronic systems are efficient and quiet and allow for very precise temperature control.
They don’t require a lot of maintenance either.
The downsides include the fact that you can’t obstruct the units with furniture or window coverings, and they take a while to heat up.
These aren’t the only heating systems for homes that are available, but it gives you an idea of some of the more commonly used options and what their benefits and downsides are.