It’s no surprise that the winter can bring along some chilly weather. A home heating system is imperative to keeping you and your family safe throughout the winter. Whether you’re upgrading an existing heating system or having a new one installed, there are a few different options that you can choose from.
Furnaces are by far the most popular heating system used throughout the United States today. They can be fueled by oil, propane, natural gas, and even electricity in some cases. Furnaces will utilize a pilot light to ignite their burner. Through combustion, a furnace produces heat that is forced throughout all the air supply vents in your home.
This combustion process does create some toxic fumes that must be vented outside of your home. They do pose a small risk if your furnace is not properly maintained or fails. These risks can be mitigated with the proper carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed within your home. Most furnaces that run on natural gas will have a hook-up that goes directly to the city’s supply. Furnaces that run on heating oil or propane will typically need to have an on-site storage tank to hold the fuel for future use.
Boilers are very popular in older homes as a primary heating source. If you already have an existing boiler in your home, it may be more cost-efficient to upgrade to a new boiler than switching to a different heating system. Boilers operate by heating up water within a vessel. Heat is produced via gas or oil.
Once the water is heated into steam, it will be forced through a series of piping to radiators throughout all the main rooms of your home. These metal radiators can either sit down at the baseboard level or stand tall against the wall. Heat radiates off all your radiators and, in turn, heats your home. The cold water returns to your boiler to be reheated, and the process starts all over again.
Heat pumps have become a very popular heating option for homes in mild climates. They work efficiently as both a heating and cooling system, all wrapped into one unit. Instead of using combustion to create heat, heat pumps simply transfer heat from one location to another.
During the winter, heat pumps will pull heat from the air or soil outside and transport it into your home via a refrigerant substance. This works great in climates that don’t get temperatures down below freezing. Since heat pumps are only moving heat and not creating it, they are much more energy efficient than furnaces and boilers.
However, the caveat with heat pumps is that they’re only energy efficient in temperatures that are above freezing. When temperatures dip down below freezing, heat pumps must switch over to auxiliary mode. This uses an electric coil to produce heat that is then delivered throughout your home. This is much less energy efficient than furnaces or boilers. Therefore, heat pumps are only recommended for homes that are in a mild climate throughout the year.
Dual Heating Systems
A very popular option that seems to be catching on in colder climates is a dual heating system. This type of system allows homeowners to take advantage of the superior energy efficiency of a heat pump during above-freezing temperatures, coupled with the enhanced efficiency of a furnace during below-freezing temperatures.
A dual heating system will be more expensive to install initially. However, the energy savings that you can gain over its lifespan can be well worth it. Additionally, investing in this dual heating system allows you the added benefit of the heat pump’s cooling system in the summertime. This keeps you from having to purchase another home cooling system.
Which One Should You Choose?
Determining which heating system, you should purchase depends on the temperatures in your region of the country and your budget. If you live in a region of the country that rarely sees temperatures below freezing, then you should invest in a heat pump. Not only is it more energy efficient, but it will also provide you with the added benefit of air conditioning in the summertime.
If you live in a region of the country that regularly sees temperatures below freezing, then you’ll want to invest in a furnace. This type of system is much cheaper than a boiler and is more energy efficient in below-freezing temperatures than heat pumps. If your budget allows it, you may want to consider installing a dual heating system so that you can get the best benefits of both systems.
Expert Heating Services
Dr. HVAC Inc provides expert heating services for the entire Margate, FL, and surrounding regions. We can also help with all your cooling and indoor air quality needs. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment with our highly skilled HVAC service technicians.