It can be hard to let go of your old heating system and commit to a new one you hardly know. If you have an aging unit that needs replacement, however, it can be exciting to see the variety of heating technologies available as replacement options. All of these systems come in different models and sizes to accommodate your home. Consult a professional HVAC company for more information on installing or replacing a new heating system.
1. Furnace (forced air distribution system)
With a furnace (usually powered with gas), air is forced through a series of ducts. This distributes heated, conditioned air throughout the home. While furnaces can heat the air with electricity, propane, or oil, most U.S. homes utilize natural gas.
Gas furnaces are the most popular type of heating system since the forced air distribution system (ductwork) can be used by your air conditioner during the summer months.
2. Boiler (Radiator distribution system)
Boilers are another common heating system. They send hot water or steam through pipes to provide heating. While this enables you to practice zoned heating and cooling, they are also significantly more expensive to install and cost more money to run.
The reason why furnaces and boilers are known as central heating systems are because the heat is generated in a central area of the home and then distributed throughout the house.
3. Heat Pump
Heat pumps can be used to both heat and cool the home. They use refrigerant and electricity to transfer heat rather than generating it directly like a gas furnace. As a result, they are often much more efficient than other types of heating systems. Unfortunately, they work best in moderate climates where temperatures rarely dip below freezing.
4. Hybrid Heating
Hybrid heating combines the energy efficiency of a heat pump with the power of a gas furnace. Most of the time, the heat pump will operate to heat and cool your home. It is only during extreme temperatures that the furnace kicks on.
And since you aren’t just relying on one system, you will reduce significant strain on both units, thus significantly reducing the need for repairs and replacements.
5. Ductless Mini-Splits
By getting rid of the need for lots of air ducts, mini-split units allow you to create separate HVAC zones, each with a separate thermostat. This is very helpful in larger homes and add-on areas that don’t have ductwork installed.
6. Radiant Heating
Radiant heating sends hot water or electric heat through special tubes located in the floor (and sometimes in the ceiling or walls). The heat can be generated by oil, gas, propane, or electricity.
While the radiant heating distribution system can last a long time, repairs can become very expensive if a problem arises. The lifespan of radiant heat is dependent on its heat source system.
Learn more about the different types of heating systems.
In addition to the type of heating system you install, learn what else should affect your decision-making.
7. Baseboard Heaters
Usually reserved as supplemental heating or heating in an add-on, baseboard heating can be an effective and affordable choice. You have two choices when it comes to baseboard heating: electric or hydronic. Speak with your HVAC contractor for more information on baseboard heaters.
Here’s an overview of the different types of heating systems from the U.S. Department of Energy: