When it comes to heating a home, families now have quite a few different options to choose from. There are many factors that could impact a family’s decision of which heating source is most applicable for their home, depending on home size, budget, environmental impact, geographic region, and existing heating systems. In addition to traditional heating systems such as furnaces and fireplaces, many people now also use heat pumps and high-efficiency space heaters. Here is a closer look at some of the pros and cons of three of the most popular residential heating systems.
Radiant Heating Systems
The most common type of radiant heating system is a boiler. Instead of blowing warm air into a home, a radiant heating system pushes hot water through pipes and panels located at strategic points such as baseboards and floorboards. These systems are generally more expensive to install, but they can be beneficial if anyone in your family suffers from allergies. Unlike traditional furnaces and HVAC systems, a boiler does not pull in air from the outside. That means there is a much lower chance of trapping airborne allergens and irritants in your home whenever you turn the heat up.
The vast majority of homes throughout the country are kept warm with central furnaces. As an alternative to boiling water, a furnace uses gas or electricity to heat moving air as it passes through the system. Not only are furnaces more efficient than ever, but they are also extremely easy to install and maintain when compared to more complicated heating devices. Furnaces are fairly common in most family homes, and therefore will include more options when picking a model for your home, and even more options when it comes time to repair. Most families experience issues with their furnaces when the devices are too old or not properly maintained. As a general rule, a furnace should be serviced by an HVAC professional, like those at Universal Refrigeration, at least twice a year. During those service calls, the technician can make sure that the system is clean and working efficiently.
Heat pumps have become extremely popular in recent years, and one of the reasons for this is because they can be extremely cost-efficient. These unique devices utilize a refrigerant to extract warmth from the outdoor air or underground pipes. The energy is then transferred indoors through a series of pipes and ducts. Most homeowners have these systems installed when they would like a long-term heating solution. Another advantage of heat pumps is that they use the same refrigerant to cool the home during the summer months. This can be beneficial if you are trying to make your home more self-sufficient. If you do install a heat pump in your home, it’s important that you do your own research and understand how to efficiently maintain and care for the pump. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of heat pump filters at your home just in case your filter needs to be changed. In order to avoid unnecessary danger, it’s important you check your filter consistently and replace it when old or dirty. Neglecting to change the filter can cause some damage to your heat pump and that could mean more expensive repair in the future for you and your family. If you take care of it regularly, it should be a lasting investment that will work well for your family.
No matter what heating system you choose, things break and problems arise. It’s important you have a home emergency kit with alternative heating sources that you can use in the case of your primary heating source going out. This can happen on weekends or holidays, when repair technicians may not be available to help you get your system back on right away. By planning ahead, you will be able to have an alternative heat source that you could use in an emergency, which may be vital in your family’s future. If you keep yourself organized, you will have all the necessary fuel and equipment needed to keep your home heated, as well as any other emergency supplies you may need. You could also store extra blankets and warm clothes that can be used if needed.
Choosing the right heating system can have a major impact on your family’s comfort as well as your monthly utility bills. That is why it is so important for homeowners to spend some time researching all of their options before upgrading their current system or having an entirely new heating source installed.