When it comes to heating systems, mostly we just want them to work when we need them. But with energy efficiency and renewable energy more top of mind these days, the type of heating system a house uses plays a large role in the energy consumption of that home. So what heating system is best for your home?
Hot air furnaces and forced hotwater boilers are the heating systems we are most familiar with in the Northeast. The new models are fairly energy efficient, and can help homeowners save money on utility costs compared to the heating systems of yesterday. There are also heating alternatives available now that can dramatically increase your savings while delivering the same reliable comfort the more traditional systems do.
Which type of heating system is right for you really depends on your individual circumstances, fuel preferences and needs. We’re giving you a rundown on the main types of heating systems available for your Maine home so you can compare and consider what you prefer:
The term “furnace” is almost a universal term used to describe a home heating system. However, they are a particular type of heat delivery system, and different than their standard counterpart boiler. A forced hot air furnace works by blowing heated air through air ducts and out air registers installed throughout the home. Furnaces can be powered by electricity, fuel oil, or natural gas.
Many people think of a boiler as a large, commercial heat application. However, boilers offer an efficient heating alternative from long-lasting equipment. Forced hot water boilers used heated to circulate heat throughout your home via a system of pipes or PEX tubing. This heated water is then distributed via valves or circulator pumps to installed radiators, baseboard heaters, or radiant heat tubing.
We usually think about wintertime when we talk about heating systems, but there is a year round system that promises comfort all year – when the weather is cold or hot. Heat pumps are growing in popularity exponentially, and for good reason. They are extremely energy efficient, and offer central heating and air conditioning all from one small unit.
Heat pumps work by moving heat, rather than generating heat. This is what makes them so efficient compared to traditional heating systems. A heat pump unit consists of an outside equipment called the condensing unit, and a heat pump air handler that is installed inside the house. While they should be installed by a licensed technician, heat pumps require much less space and far less disruption to install.
Radiant heat gets a bad rap because people still consider it too expensive or only for high-end installation. However, radiant heat technology has come a long way, and it’s another extremely energy efficient heating system option. Usually installed beneath flooring materials, radiant heating offer silent, evenly distributed, consistent heat. Installed beneath flooring and behind walls, radiant heat is virtually invisible so as to not disrupt room décor or style.
What type of heating system is right for your home really depends on many factors. It hinge on factors such as visual aesthetics, budget, noise and space considerations. However, a system that may be more expensive to install may save you significantly enough in energy costs to pay for the difference in only a matter of years. Your heating system contractor should have formulations to help you figure that out.
Here are some other considerations:
No matter which type of heating system you choose, making it a point to take good care of it through annual maintenance and cleaning will extend the life of the system and protect your investment. Good maintenance also maintains energy efficiency, and ensure the system is operating safely.
At Warm Waters, we install all types of heating systems! We are happy to discuss your particular needs and help you determine which type of system will work best for you. Please contact us with your questions!