The ABCs of Home Heating Systems

home heating

Living in a country where winter and the cold season can be a bit harsh means you ought to have a home that comes equipped with the best possible heating equipment or system. This comes especially true when you're living in the northeastern of the U.S. But while those in the northeast experience the harshest of winter, it does not mean the rest of the nation is free from the extreme cold. As a matter of fact, everyone in America needs heating in their homes. While residential heating has been always dominated by oil and natural gas, the past two decades has seen the emergence and rise of newer home heating systems utilizing different technologies and fuel or energy sources. In this article, we will be discussing the most recent heating systems today.

Home Heating Systems Comparison

Today, residential heating is not just about gas and oil-fired systems. While electric systems are also gaining some popularity all over the country, you also have to know that there is a wide variety of choices, too, including those that are favorable and very practical for specific areas or regions in the country. In our home heating comparison, we will be discussing what technology has brought us in terms of effectively and efficiently heating our homes, which obviously are centered on the need of utmost comfort during extreme cold.

Though the main factor that contributes to what type of home system will be used at home is the availability of the fuel source, there are also other important considerations like the level of efficiency as well as the performance of the equipment used for heating.

Anyhow, let's just take a closer look at the many viable home heating options for you:

Home Heating Options

Your home may actually have one of the different types of heating systems already. But for the sake of information, heating systems can be in the form of blowing hot air through the ductwork or maybe piping some hot water by way or through the floor. Now regardless of the type of system you have, one thing is for sure that's the fact that it has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks.

The most common and known home heating options are forced air, radiant heat, hydronic, steam radiant, and geothermal. Forced air system is without a doubt the most popular and commonly used. The distribution is carried out by air being heated in a furnace and then passed on to the ductwork and into the individual rooms. Furnaces can be powered by oil, natural gas, propane, or electricity.

Hydronic Heating Systems

geothermal heat

Hydronic heating systems are worthy of mention here simply because it can be a great alternative for those who are trying to look for more sensible ways of heating because of the lack of natural gas or oil resources. It is quite similar to radiant heating in some aspects. Also called as hot water baseboard system, it utilizes hot water that's heated by a boiler. It then heats an area or space using both the concept of radiation and convection.

In this type of system, hot water is produced by a boiler and then piped to a fin-tube baseboard unit found along the walls. Air will be distributed by way of convection, or when air rises and becomes heated by the baseboard unit. The boiler in this case will be fueled by electricity, oil, propane, or natural gas.

Home Heat Pumps

heat pumps

Another "new" type of home heating system is home heat pumps. But unlike the other systems, it is more of an emergency type intended to cover for the main heating system when it is down. To simply put it, the heat pump utilizes a small amount of energy in order to move the heat from one location to another. Perhaps the most notable advantage of the heat pump compared to standard heating is the fact that it does not require a lot of work in installation. Heat pumps are known to work quite efficiently mainly because they can transfer heat instead of burn fuel in order to create it. Therefore, they are closer to the concept of being a "green" solution compared to gas and oil burning furnaces.

Geothermal Home Heating Systems

One of the newest heating systems today is powered by geothermal technology. Commonly referred to as geothermal heat pump or GHP, heat will be taken from or deposited to the earth using a ground loop pipe. According to the EPA, the typical geothermal heat pump will allow you to save up to seventy percent on home heating when compared to the traditional and conventional systems. But the only issue about it is that it does not really come cheap. You may have to spend a lot of money first in order to have it installed before you can start saving on heating expenses.

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