Understanding Home Heating Systems
For many people the ins and outs of their heating system isn’t knowledge we have or care to learn. But when something goes wrong and you suddenly don’t have heat, having an understanding of your heating system can be helpful when we have to shop for a new one. Today, we’ll look at three common types of heating systems and the pros and cons of each.
Furnaces are a central type of heating system, usually controlled by one main thermostat, and heat your house using heated air which is blown throughout the house using duct work. Furnaces can use natural gas, propane, heating oil or electricity to create heat.
- A common heating system so they’re fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain
- They have a variety of fuel options so you’ll be able to find what’s available in your city and best suited to your budget
- Modern furnaces have become very energy efficient
- As a central heating system they are controlled by one thermostat so heating different areas of the house individually is not possible
- They can be noisy due to the fans that push the heated air throughout your house
Boilers use hot water to heat your house with radiators. The boiler heats water and circulates the hot water through radiators to heat the house. With this system areas can be heated separately using different zones and thermostats. Some boilers can also supply you with hot water for your taps too. Oil, gas or electricity can be used in conjunction with a boiler to supply heating and hot water.
- Multiple thermostats means you can heat only the parts of the house you want to heat.
- This method of distributing is considered more energy efficient and heats your house more evenly.
- No noise from fans like with furnace systems.
- Boilers also give you the option to install radiant floor heating, a modern form of distributing heat through your floors that, though expensive to install, is very energy efficient and will save you money over time.
- It may be more expensive up front to install a newer, energy efficient, boiler.
A central heat pump system works the same as a furnace. Using electricity or geothermal energy and the outside air, it moves warm air through the house using a fan and Duct work. It can either heat or cool your house with electricity and the outside air.
- Can provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer
- Cost effective for those living in milder climates that don’t get too cold
- Like boilers, heat pumps distribute heat more evenly and effectively
- Not the best option in colder climates
- The heat produced is not as warm as with other systems so it may feel cooler than usual if you’re used to a boiler or furnace system
- Can sometimes require a backup or additional system to effectively heat your home.
If you want to learn more about all the options out there for heating homes in Nova Scotia please contact your local West Nova Fuels or Superline Fuels branch and they’ll be happy to let you know what we can do to help!