Homeowners have a choice between many different heating systems. It’s important to learn as much as you can about each system so you can make an informed decision and get the most efficiency for your particular home.
That is your ultimate goal – to install a heating system that will keep your home warm in the winter for the best possible price. When choosing a heating system, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
The size of your home
Heating systems can be scaled to suit your home. A small house only needs a small heating system. However, a large home would suffer if the heating system were not adequate, and inversely a large furnace in a small home could suffer as well.
Where your home is located
If your home is located in a region where mild temperatures are the norm, you would not need as powerful a heating system as you would if you lived in an area where the temperatures drop below freezing (32° F) for any length of time.
Access to natural features
If your home is near a lake, geothermal heat is a possibility. If the house is built into the side of a hill, it may have different heating requirements.
Here’s a list of the different home heating systems:
A boiler – not to be confused with a hot water heater – heats water which is then turned into steam. This steam heat is then radiated throughout the home by using radiators, baseboard heaters, or panels set into the floor, walls or ceilings.
Radiant heating systems are quiet – there are no fans needed to “force” heated air throughout the home. It’s also possible to set the temperature of each room individually, which helps control heating costs. Because it’s steam heat rather than forced air heat, airborne allergens are not an issue.
The drawback to a boiler and radiant heat system is that it is one of the most expensive systems available. Also, it is not paired with an air conditioning system, which would be a separate expense.
Furnaces are a “forced air” heating system. Heated air is forced or blown, through ducts throughout the home. Furnaces – whether powered by electricity, natural gas or oil – are energy efficient and are among the most popular of heating systems. Furnaces are referred to as HVAC systems because they are frequently paired with central air conditioners. The same blower that forces heated air through ductwork into your home during winter months forces out cold air through that ductwork in the summer. The same thermostat also controls both systems.
The drawbacks of furnaces are that the fans can be noisy, and the ductwork takes up more space than the pipes of a radiant heating system.
Heat pumps are most popular in locations that have mild climates. A heat pump is a device that absorbs heat from outside the home – usually from the air or the ground, less often from a body of water – and then transfers this heat inside the house using a heat exchanger. Like the HVAC system, a heat pump can serve a dual purpose – it can be reversed in summer to cool the home.
The installation of a heat pump is generally more expensive than that of any other system, and it works best in regions where winter temperatures below 32° F are not typical except in situations where solar power is available. Heat pumps are the most cost effective long term solution for homes where you can offset most of your heating and cooling expenses for the entire your with energy you are creating on your own home!
In small homes or large homes where most of the rooms are not used, electric space heaters may provide adequate heat for individual rooms. Typically, space heaters are not a “system,” however, they can be used in conjunction with your home-wide heating system. It’s certainly possible to have a space heater in every single room, but having a modern system installed would be more energy efficient over time -and safer as well.
Wood burning and Pellet Stoves
Like space heaters, wood burning or pellet stoves are best when heating a single room. These stoves can be designed to look quite elegant and complement one’s décor, but they work best when they are used as add-ons to a system.
So, there are a few of the most popular heating systems in Denver for you to consider. It’s always possible to upgrade an old system, although it might be less expensive to buy new. If you are thinking about replacing your old heating system or installing a new one, call Summit Heating & A/C first. We will be happy to walk you through your choices and help you find the system that is going to work best for you.