If your current heating system is several years old, or if you are constructing or renovating your home, it's a good idea for you to consider the different types of home heating systems that are available. While every system will work to keep your house warm and comfortable in the winter, each system works in different ways and have a different set of associated characteristics. Understanding the differences between the available types of heating systems for your home can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Heat pumps don't actually use heating elements, but instead, they make use of a heat exchanger to take residual heat from outside of your home, concentrate it, and then let it circulate throughout your home. This means that they can enjoy relatively high levels of energy efficiency, saving you money each month on heating bills.
However, since heat pumps require the temperature outside to be relatively moderate, they won't work in areas that have extremely cold winters.
Radiant heating can consist of several different types of installations, but it most commonly refers to either baseboard heating or heating elements that are installed underneath your floors. Baseboard heaters will heat up the air in the room they are installed in, which can allow you to choose just how much heating you need depending on where people are in your home, saving you money. Radiant floor heating warms the actual flooring material itself, which can then hold onto that heat after you turn your heating off, again offering an energy-efficient way to stay warm.
However, radiant heating can take longer than other types of heating systems to warm up the room they are installed in. Further, floor radiant heating systems can require a great deal of labor to install, since the floor will have to be removed for the system to be put into place.
Finally, central furnaces make use of a heating element, powered either by electricity or some form of fuel like propane or natural gas, to heat up air that is then blown through ducts throughout your home. This allows for you to heat your entire house at once, and it works much faster than the above two heating systems.
However, forced air furnaces are not as energy efficient as their other heating counterparts, as they provide heating to the entire house at once. In addition, improperly insulated ducts can allow for heat to transfer out of the system before it makes it to you, further reducing comfort levels.
For more information and options for heating systems, contact a professional HVAC installation company, which can evaluate your heating needs and suggest the right system for you.