Which Heating Systems
Are The Right Ones?

Heating systems.....which one should I choose?.....Well the one you choose will probably be based on four factors:cost of the system,annual heating cost,environment and convenience.

Heating systems can be broken down into two parts: the part of the system that delivers the heat to the rooms of your home... and the part that produces the heat.



First let's look at the delivery part of the system.

Forced air systems are one of the more common ones. This method of heat delivery requires ducts (round or square pipes) to carry heated air to each room of your home,usually through registers placed in the floor.

With a little help this could be a d.i.y project.

Sizing of duct and heat loss calculation however, should be done by a professional.

The down fall to this system is it tends to move dust in the air. The up side to this system is the same delivery system can be used for air conditioning.

Heating ducts

Baseboard heating can be accomplished in two ways.. electric or with hot water. Electric baseboard heaters are the easiest to install and the cheapest.

Hot water baseboard heaters require piping of hot water to each baseboard heater and back to the heating source.

This system is a radiant type heating system with a more even heat and very little dust movement.

Baseboard heater

Hot water baceboard heaters Electric baceboard heater

Electric and hot water baseboard heaters look much the same... the difference is what's on the inside.

In floor heating is another heating method that can be accomplished either electrically or with hot water.
Hot water infloor heating system

Electric infloor heating system

Picture on the left shows a hot water system. Pipes have been laid and concrete is being poured to form the floor. Picture on the right shows ceramic floor being laid over electrical heating wires.

Electric in floor heating uses special wiring. When installed under your finished floor will radiate heat to your home.

To see a demo of this go here

Hot water in floor heating has become a very popular way of heating today's homes.

Teamed up with the right heating source it is a very economical system.

This is a very doable "Do it yourself"project.

 in floor heating system lay out

This is the system I put in my home with a geothermal heat pump as a heat source and the complete system was a ,do it yourself, project.

Now let's look at the part of the heating system that delivers the heat...the heat source.

Oil fired furnaces have been one of the most popular systems for heating our homes for many years, but because of the high oil prices and the impact on the environment,this method of heating is losing popularity.

Oil furnaces

Oil fired furnaces can be used for heating air,as in a forced air furnace or water for hot water heating systems. The later is referred to as a hot water boiler.

Electric furnaces can also be used for heating air or water. Water heating being the more common of the two.

Electric tankless hot water heaters are frequently used for in floor heating systems.

Tankless electric in floor system

These units are very compact and are hung on a wall. They are a demand type water heater which means they heat water as needed, and will heat water very fast. There is no need for a storage tank.

There are many models of these types of heating units.Sizes as well as fuel types,such as propane,oil,natural gas and electric.

Heat pumps fall into two basic types,heat pumps that use the outside air to extract heat, and geothermal heat pumps which extracts heat from the ground.

A picture of a heat pump

A picture of a gerthermal heat pump

The heat pump on the left uses outside air as it's heating medium .

The heat pumps on the right are geothermal or ground source heat pumps.

These units are very economical when compared to electric resistance type heaters...they have a efficiency of 300 to 400%.

Wood heating systems are very popular in some areas, but this is not a option for everyone. If you live in an area where wood is readily available and you don't mind the extra work involved,then you may want to consider wood as secondary source of heat.



Zero clearance fire place As a secondary source of heat I installed a zero clearance fire place and the first winter this was my only source of heat.

This unit heated my 1500sq. ft. home with no problems.



I have mentioned a few of the more popular heating systems but there are many types available.





Go to Geothermal heat pump

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