With such a wide variety of home heating systems available in the market, many people have a difficult time choosing the right system for their home. However, if you do your research and consider factors like the size and type of your house, the climate, and availability and cost of energy, this will help you determine the type of heating system you need.
When choosing the right home heating systems, your decision should be based on the following:
- Fuel type: This is the first decision you should make and is based on your personal preference (whether you like electricity or gas or something else) and the availability and cost of different types of fuels. Usually, gas is cheaper in urban areas but may not be easily available in the countryside.
- Energy efficiency: This is the amount of energy converted into heat. A furnace that has an efficient rating of 85% uses 85% of the fuel to produce heat and the rest (15%) goes up the chimney. Gas and oil furnaces come with two efficiency ratings: high efficiency (75% – 85%) and super efficiency (85% – 95%). Electric furnaces are said to be 100% efficient as they convert all the electricity into heat.
- Size of the unit: This depends on the size of your house. If your house is large, then obviously you need a large heating unit and vice versa. You can consult with a HVAC technician to find out the heating requirement of your home and the size of the heating system you need.
- Payback period: When you make an investment, you naturally want a quick return. You can calculate the payback period of each system to choose the best home heating systems. To do that, estimate the total cost in a year (including initial cost) and savings you can make. Divide the former by the latter. The lower the payback period the better.
Here are some of the different types of heating systems available:
- Gas and oil forced air furnaces: These furnaces pull in cold air from the surroundings, heat it using a heating mechanism and force the warmed air into the room through a network of ducts.
- Boiler: A boiler heats your house by circulating hot water or steam through a network of pipes concealed inside the walls and floors. The boiler may be fired by gas, oil, coal or electricity
- Heat pump: A heat pump uses a small amount of energy to transfer heat from a heat source, usually the air or ground, to another location. Electric heat pumps provide an energy-efficient way to heat your room in winter and cool it in summer.
- Electric resistance: There are several different types of electric resistance heaters, such as electric furnaces and wall heaters, and all of them use electric heating elements to heat the air. They are equipped with one or more thermostats to allow temperature control.
As you consider the various types of home heating systems be sure that the unit you end up choosing for your house is cost-effective, fuel efficient, and easy to operate and maintain, and be able to provide the warmth required to make your house warm and cozy in cold weather. Therefore, you should research all the different types of heating systems and their pros and cons before settling for one.