When it’s time to install a new heating system, you will want to consider your options carefully. Your heating system is a major component of your home and requires a substantial investment. In this guide, you can learn about the various factors involved in selecting the right system for your home.
Types of Heating Systems
There are three main types of heating systems used in homes today: boilers, furnaces, and heat pumps. Each of these systems has both advantages and disadvantages.
Boiler – A boiler uses hot water to heat the air and typically uses natural gas or oil for fuel. When the water is at the correct temperature, it moves through pipes into radiators and other dispensers. Traditionally, radiators and baseboard units dispense the heat, but radiant floor heat, where pipes under the floor distribute the hot water, has become a popular choice.
The advantages of a modern boiler system include more efficient and even heat distribution, a quieter delivery, and easy compatibility with zoned thermostats for different areas. A disadvantage of a boiler is that natural gas may not be available locally, thus requiring more expensive heating oil. Boilers are effective in extremely cold climates but are rarely used in warm climates like ours.
Furnace – A furnace burns fuel mixed with air or uses electricity to generate warmed air. It then blows the heated air through ductwork into the rooms by means of a fan.
Furnaces are relatively inexpensive to install and easy to maintain. There are several options for fueling them, and modern ones are far more energy-efficient. However, they are noisy and usually cannot pair with zoned thermostats.
Heat Pump – Heat pumps work by sending heat into the house in the winter and pulling heat out of the house in the summer. These systems use forced air to deliver the heated or cooled air to the rooms through ductwork.
The advantages of heat pumps are their dual heating and cooling functions, their cost efficiency, and the evenness of their air distribution. Heat pumps are a good choice for moderate climates. Cons of having a heat pump are the higher cost of installation and the mildness of the dispensed heat.
An important factor in choosing a heating system is the type of climate in your area. During the mild winters in San Diego, any of these systems will be able to warm your home comfortably. However, if you move to an area with frequent frigid spells in the winter, then a boiler or furnace will be a better choice than a heat pump to adequately warm the house.
Another factor in choosing the right heating system for your home is the size of the system. It is important to have a professional size and analyze your home to help you choose the right size system. If the system is too small, it won’t warm the house enough, and if it is too large, it will operate inefficiently.
Many consumers today are often as concerned about the impact of energy usage on the environment as they are about its impact on their wallets. Fortunately, modern heating systems can achieve a high-efficiency level. These systems come with efficiency ratings that are easy to understand.
When you are choosing a heating system, you will usually weigh the installation cost with the cost to run the system. The length of time you will spend in the home may also factor into your decision. However, even if you will only be in the home for a few years, having a highly efficient system that costs more may increase your home’s value and attractiveness.
Taking the time to carefully consider the right heating system for your home is worth the time and effort. Call us at West Coast Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar to help with any questions you have about heating systems and perform an expert installation when you need one.
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