For temperate regions that go through cold seasons every year, installing a heating system must stave off the mind-numbing temperatures. More often than not, getting bundled up with layers of clothing and burying ourselves on thick blankets is never enough to keep the cold at bay. However, with the array of heating systems to choose from in the market nowadays, identifying the best-fit for your cold-staving needs can be quite a stressful process of elimination, especially if you’re not familiar with this home appliance must-have.
Here we have compiled the most common types of heating systems and identified their advantages and disadvantages to give you a better idea of what you’re getting into before purchasing one.
A two-in-one system, heat pumps are typical household favorites as it is capable of both heating and cooling homes and establishments. Better known as a two-way air conditioner, heat pumps move the heat out of your homes to produce a cooler home environment and vice versa when the inside temperatures become cooler as the season changes. And, there are two common types of heat pumps:
Ground-source Heat Pumps - Also known as geothermal, GeoExchange, or simply GX; this type of heat pump pulls heat from the ground and pumps it into the house. Considered more efficient than air-source types, ground-source heat pump systems are often the go-to option for people who plan to stay in their homes for the long-run. This is due to the system’s setup where a loop is needed to be buried 3 to 6 inches below the house.
Air-source Heat Pumps - In contrast to ground-source types, air-source heat pumps utilize hot or cold air in the outside environment for heating and cooling. It is typically set up like a centralized air conditioner and can be re-installed if you choose to move to another house. However, with unpredictable environmental conditions, air-source heat pumps are often considered inefficient. Still, that doesn’t perturb people that much since this system is more convenient and cheaper.
A more efficient option with a 6.8 to 10 HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) score.
Requires a lower amount of energy to function.
Can both cool and heat houses and establishments.
Transfer heat rather than generate it.
Has a lifespan of 15 years on average.
It needs electricity to function.
It can only be maximized in regions with moderate temperatures, as areas with extreme conditions can be too much for the system.
One of the older heating systems ever created, boilers used to be the go-to heating appliance, especially in the United States way back. This tried and tested heating machine distributes heat throughout the building or house via heated water. Although it requires a relatively more elaborate setup, thanks to all the series of piping that needs to be installed throughout the premises, boilers are still a good option to heat your home.
Boiler heating systems will warm up water and distribute it all over the establishment; heat is then released as the hot water passes through the pipes. The now cooled down water is then returned to the boiler to be heated up once again, and the cycles go on and on.
Capable of evenly distributing heat all over the house or establishment.
It is relatively cleaner and safer against possible air allergens that can be carried in by other types of heating systems.
Cheaper cost in running the system.
It lasts for 15 to 30 years, depending on several factors.
Expensive to set up and maintain.
Requires a number of parts and pipes to installing, which can be very laborious and time-consuming.
There is the problem of water leakage due to broken pipes.
It takes time before water is thoroughly heated and distributed, which means a little waiting time, especially after thermostat adjusting.
One of the newcomers in the world of heating systems, radiant heaters have steadily gained popularity over the years. Unlike the other heaters, radiant heating systems distribute heat directly on either the wall panels or on the flooring, and even upon the ceiling. As the name suggests, this system the process of radiant heat transfer. Radiant heating involves infrared radiation, which directly supplies heat from a hot object to another object or person. The perfect example of this is the heat you feel when you place your palm on top of a hot pot.
There are mainly three radiant floor heaters; hot water radiant heater, which utilizes water; radiant air heater, which uses air as its heat carrier; and electric radiant heaters.
Expect a noise-free heating experience.
Capable of heating the establishment more uniformly.
Does not supply any allergenic substance or particles.
Relative more energy efficient as compared to forced-air types.
Easier to install, which can even be done DIY style (of course, we still suggest that an expert should install it for safety reasons)
Has a life span of 25 years on average, with little maintenance.
It can be a budget buster as most radiant heating systems are costly and can push your electricity consumption to fly high.
Requires floor replacing during installation as existing flooring must be removed, hence best done during construction.
One of the most common types and a solid North American favorite is the furnace system. This heating system is a forced-air type of heater that blows out air into a series of pipes and out on several ducts located in each house’s room. Hot air is produced by burning a mixture of fuel and air, which consequently heats a metal heat exchanger that is then transferred to the atmosphere. Once hot air is created, it is then pushed out with a fan’s help and distributed to the duct system. And furnaces can either be powered by electricity, gas, or fuel.
Capable of tolerating and providing heat even during the most extreme of cold weather conditions.
Heat is evenly and quickly distributed in the premises.
Typically cheaper to install than other heating systems.
It can function for 20 to 30 years on average.
Produces loud noise as it gets older.
Energy inefficient, especially the older furnace models.
Effectively spreads allergens in the air.
Expensive to run with electricity, gas, or fuel fees.
It can sometimes be prone to exploding or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Also known as a small space heater, portable heaters are your hot air producing appliance on wheels. Due to their small size, portable heaters are typically used as either supplementary heating devices or if you only wish to heat one room. And they are often used for occasions such as when someone has a cold or is sick and requires a heater near or beside their beds.
Although most portable heaters nowadays are electrically powered, some work using propane, kerosene, or some natural gases. Furthermore, they either spread heat via convection or radiant heating.
You can easily take them anywhere thanks to their portable size and features.
It uses relatively smaller amounts of energy to power up; hence it can be a money-saver, especially if you only need to heat a single room.
Aesthetically pleasing to the eye with their simple yet elegant design.
Very easy to use with just one to two clicks of a button.
No more laborious and hassling installation process.
They easily overheat if left unattended.
Prone to blazing up or exploding are often the cause of thousands of house fires.
It has a limited heat range and can only heat one single room at a time.
It is not meant to be used all day long, unlike large heating systems.
With all the different kinds of heating appliance systems, choosing the right one will ultimately depend on the budget, house size, usage, and area. Not all heating systems are perfect for all situations and setups, so considering where you’re planning to live is a must. However, at the end of the day, just like any household appliance, heaters are also a life-long investment that requires attention and planning before purchasing.
Note: We also provide affordable appliance repair services in the area of Delran NJ and we are also specialize in hot water heater repair