Mid-winter heating issues will certainly have you singing the blues. Even though heating systems are designed to last up to a couple of decades, eventually the day will come when it’s time to consider installing a new heat source for your home. Technology has advanced heating systems beyond fireplaces and potbelly stoves; let’s take a brief look at what’s available:
- Forced air. This commonly used system both heats and cools the air. Air is first heated in the furnace and then forced into the home though a series of ducts and vents. These systems run on a variety of fuel sources such as natural gas and electricity.
- Boilers. Boiling water to create hot water or steam, boilers work off natural gas, propane, oil or electricity. Once heated, the water is forced through tubing into other parts of the home also called radiators.
- Radiant heat. This system provides heat via hot water tubing embedded in floors. Natural gas, propane oil or electricity often fuel the boilers heating the water that flows through the tubing.
- Steam radiators. Although not used very often these days, steam systems distribute heat through piping and radiator units. Old cast iron radiators, while often beautiful, still can run efficiently and quickly warm rooms.
- Geothermal. The newest in heating technology, geothermal systems can save 30 to 70 percent on home heating costs by taking heat from the earth by using a ground loop. But beware, these systems are expensive to install and you might not see a return on investment for a few years.
Any heating system you chose should be installed by a licensed HVAC contractor. Talk with your local HVAC company; they’d be happy to design the best heating system for your home.