Heating your home is simpler than you think. If your home is more modern or new, it’s a concern you likely don’t have. Knowledge is power however and if you’re ever to sell your home in the future or renovate a property this information can be quite useful.
Knowing and understanding can be different things. To understand requires a bit more depth of explanation. Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll understand enough about heating systems to make the right choice in the future.
Fuel or energy sources for your system
Depending on what part of the world you’re from you may be more limited in your options. Most commonly people use natural gas or alternatives. Before you make your choice take some time to read up on what’s most available in your area and the costs of each.
Your local utility services may be able to provide you with in-depth information on costs etc.
Choosing a system of distribution
Many modern homes use forced air which forces heat throughout your home via ducts and vents. Older homes tend to come with hydronic or hot water systems that heat water in a boiler and circulate via copper or plastic piping to radiators.
Both systems, like anything else, come with advantages and disadvantages. Forced air systems have the advantage of being able to double as an air conditioning system. It can also function as a ventilation system for humidity etc.
Its disadvantages are the possibility of leaks in the ducts and subsequent loss of heat. These losses can drastically increase the heating cost. Proper sealing can mitigate much of the risk, however.
A hydronic system has a greater temperature range and the boiler can provide domestic hot water. The initial installation cost is higher than that of a forced air system and central air conditioning or ventilation isn’t an option with this system.
If you’re looking at things purely from a perspective of cost-effectiveness sticking with the system you have is the best option.
The different types of systems
Your most common systems are:
- Forced air furnaces
- Hot water boilers
- Electric heat pumps
This guide isn’t long enough to do justice to an explanation of each. A forced air furnace usually has a steel heat exchanger and a multi-speed blower. They’re compact and mid-level efficient. A hot water boiler is usually a drum that heats water at low pressure to drive steam through the house. Finally, a heat pump is an outdoor fixture that vents air to and from your house. They’re the most energy efficient.
Choosing what’s right for you
Since you have all this information you’re well equipped to make your choice. You’re welcome to do more research or ask professionals for their opinions. If you’d care for a referral, there’s a plumber in Clapham that should be able to answer all your questions if you’re nearby. Cheers.