Types Of Heating Systems

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Mark Jardine
September 19, 2023
Heating & Cooling
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Raising the thermostat when the weather is colder is simple to keep your house comfortable. The appropriate home heating system may reduce the load on your thermostat and aid in energy conservation.
All heating systems transfer heat to living areas to create a cozy atmosphere. So if your heating unit has problems or working inefficiently, you should have it checked or replaced before the cold weather sets in. It might be challenging to part with your old heating system and switch to a new one you don't fully understand.
However, it may be fascinating to see the range of heating technologies available as a replacement if you have an outdated unit that has to be replaced. Each of these systems is offered in various types and sizes to fit your house. For additional information on installing or replacing a new heating system, speak with a reputable HVAC provider or continue reading to know the different types of heating systems.
Discover seven types of heating systems in this article, along with each one's advantages and disadvantages, to help you choose the ideal one for your house.

What are central heating systems?

A central heating system produces and distributes heat throughout a building. It accomplishes this by creating heat in one location and dispersing it throughout the structure using air, steam, or water.
  • Furnaces
Most homes in North America rely on their central furnace to keep them warm. When a furnace operates, hot air is blown via ducts and distributed around the home via air registers or grills. A ducted warm-air or forced warm-air distribution system is the name for this heating system. It may run on fuel oil, natural gas, or electricity.
The fuel is combined with air and burnt within an oil- or gas-fired furnace. The flame's heat is transmitted to the air through a metal heat exchanger. The furnace fan on the "air handler" forces air through the heat exchanger before forcing it through the ducting below the heat exchanger. Combustion byproducts are evacuated from the furnace outside the structure via a flue pipe.
  • Boiler
Another popular heating system is the boiler. While boiler systems disperse heat in hot water, which gives off heat as it flows through radiators or other devices in rooms across the home, furnaces convey heat in warm air. Afterward, the warmer water is returned to the boiler for reheating. Hydronic systems are another name for hot water systems. Natural gas or heating oil is often the fuel choice for residential boilers. Zoned heating and cooling can be used as a result, but they are also substantially more expensive to build and operate. Because the heat is produced in one section of the home and then dispersed throughout, furnaces and boilers are referred to as central heating systems.
What is the cheapest type of central heating? A gas boiler is still the most affordable option to heat your house, even without solar panels, yet this is about to change as gas prices are growing more than twice as rapidly as electricity prices.
  • Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are just two-way air conditioners. An air conditioner operates in the summer by transferring heat from the comparatively chilly inside to the relatively heated outdoors. This technique is reversed in the winter by the heat pump, which uses an electrical system to scavenge heat from the chilly outside and discharge it inside the building. Most heat pumps distribute the heated air throughout the house using forced warm-air delivery systems.
Two heat pump kinds are comparatively prevalent. In the winter and summer, air-source heat pumps use the outside air as a heat source and a heat sink, respectively. Ground-source heat pumps (also known as geothermal) obtain their energy from the earth, where temperatures are more stable all year round. Due to their lower cost and simpler installation, air-source heat pumps are much more prevalent than ground-source heat pumps. However, because ground-source heat pumps are much more efficient, people who intend to stay in their homes for an extended period or who have a strong desire to live more sustainably typically choose them.

What are Direct Heating Systems?

In direct heating systems, heat is produced inside a material by running an electric current, inducing regulated exothermic processes, or irradiating the material with electromagnetic radiation to excite its atoms or molecules.
  • Space Heaters
This kind of heater will be most effective for you if you need to heat a wide area. They occasionally take the shape of garage heaters. These heaters produce carbon monoxide because they burn fuel. Poisoning could result if carbon monoxide builds up in a confined area. This is why precautions must be made to prevent it. Flues are fitted in fuel-burning space heaters to allow the toxic gasses to escape. Do keep in mind that the flue needs to be permanently fitted and has room requirements. For tiny places, fuel-burning space heaters are not recommended because of this.
Types of Space Heaters:
  1. Ceramic Space Heaters. As the name implies, ceramic is the main heat-producing element in this heater. The alloy plates, mostly made of nichrome, transform electrical energy into heat when the power source is turned on.
  2. Fan Space Heaters. Another popular choice for providing your home with cozy heat is fan space heaters. The fan space heaters operate similarly to ceramic models. Additionally, they use electricity to convert it into heat energy, which is then transferred as heat by convection. Here, the substance at the center is the sole variation.
  3. Infrared Space Heaters. To heat the area, infrared space heaters produce infrared radiation. It is comparable to how the sun warms our world. Convection is not used to heat the process. Instead, the area around the heater immediately absorbs the infrared photons. In contrast to other space heaters, this heater ensures no heat is lost in the medium.
  4. Oil-Filled Space Heaters. Radiator heaters are another name for oil-filled space heaters. And the old-fashioned heater that required frequent doses of coal and wood served as inspiration for their work. The special oil is used as the main participant. This oil quickly heats up and releases heat when you give the heater an electric source. Finally, the major columns or vents allowed the heat to exit the heater's body.
  5. Propane Space Heaters. The propane heater is the most distinctive form of space heater available. An intricate electric power source is not necessary. Here, the primary fuel is liquid propane instead. Because of their distinct operating method, these heaters are well-liked in industries and long-integrated spaces like motels and mountain cabins.
  6. Panel Space Heaters. The most recent gift from technology to us is a panel space heater. The panel heaters are often wall-mountable, as the name implies. This layout will conserve space while also enhancing the inside of your home. However, many manufacturers now let you set it down on the floor with an additional stand.
  • Fireplaces
Generally speaking, gas (and most wood) fireplaces are decorative pieces that add a cozy warmth to a space and serve as a location to hide sensitive paperwork. However, they rarely function as a reliable source of heat. The fireplace will often lose more heat than it produces in traditional installations that rely on drawing air from the room into the fireplace for combustion and dilution. This is because so much warm air is pulled through the device and must be replenished by cold outside air.
Modern Home Heating Solutions:
  1. Radiant Floor Heating. In general, systems that circulate warm water in tubes under the floor are referred to as radiant floor heating. As a result, the floor becomes warmer, warming the individuals inside the space. It is costly to install, highly controlling, and supported by its proponents as being effective. Because you don't want to "cover" your heat source, it requires a skilled system designer and installer and restricts your options for carpet and other floor treatments.
  2. Ductless, Mini-Split, Multi-Split HVAC System. Outside of North America, residential ducting is rather uncommon. Widespread use comprises "ductless" heat pumps, which transfer energy through refrigerant lines instead of water or air. Large-scale field tests in the Pacific Northwest indicate that they can function well in cold climates and replace electric resistance heating at a very low cost. Like ground-source systems, whole-house multi-split systems are more expensive because of the market's relative infancy.
We hope you found this overview of space heaters to be interesting. After reading it, maybe you now have a clearer understanding of which kind of space heater is best for you.
Give our technicians a call if you're still unsure. You should be able to decide which heater is appropriate for your requirements after reading about the top space heaters on the market. Be a member today and get top-of-the-line HVAC service in Los Angeles.