Types of Heating Systems: 3 Options to Consider Adding to Your Home

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 at 7:25am.

The Difference Between the 3 Home Heating TypesHeating is essential in a home because it keeps the space comfortable during cold weather. However, there isn't just one type of heating that homes can use. A homeowner must know which heating type their home uses to maintain it properly and hire the right person to repair it should something go wrong. If a home buyer is getting a new construction home, they may want a specific heating type in certain spaces. Here are the three main types of home heating systems and how they differ from each other.

Central Heating

Central heating is the type of system that most homeowners are familiar with. This includes furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps that distribute heat evenly throughout the home. Furnaces are the most commonly seen in homes, while boilers are now seen as old-fashioned and outdated. 

Furnaces typically run on gas, but it's also possible to find furnaces that run on electricity, oil, or propane. Furnaces force air through ducts built into a home's walls, ceilings, and floors to heat it, and these ducts are also used for the air conditioner. Many central heating systems heat the entire house simultaneously and don't allow the homeowner to turn on the heat in one part of the home. Because of this, central heating systems can waste energy, especially in large homes.

It's more common to find boilers in older homes than furnaces, though they are becoming rarer with time. Instead of using air to heat a home, boilers send hot water through pipes to heat the home. This gives them a slight advantage over furnaces because this gives them the ability to heat only specific rooms if desired, which not all furnaces can.

Direct Heating

Direct heating is more common in older homes or sometimes smaller homes. Good examples of direct heating are fireplaces, electric or gas space heaters, or even wood-burning pellet stoves. These heating systems are intended only to heat one room and not the entire home. Some direct heating systems, such as gas-filled space heaters, can be moved from room to room to make them more comfortable. Other direct heating sources can be attached to a wall and can often be controlled with a remote. 

Some direct heating options are extremely powerful such as wood-burning pellet stoves. These stoves are more common in rural areas and rely on wooden pellets, similar to a pellet grill. New models even have reduced emissions, so this may be important to homeowners concerned with the production of greenhouse gasses.

State-of-the-Art Heating

The final type of heating system found in homes includes radiant floor heating, ductless heating, and combined heat and power. These unique heating types are most often seen in new homes, but homeowners can sometimes renovate their homes to add one of these heating types. If renovating, also consider energy-efficient home upgrades to keep the heat inside.

When it comes to heating in bathrooms, radiant heat flooring is popular because it removes the feeling of walking across icy tile floors on cold winter mornings. Not only is it more comfortable, but it can also be beneficial for people who have arthritis or sensitive joints.

Heating is important for keeping a home comfortable, so homeowners need to choose the right heating for their needs. Understanding the difference between the three types can help homeowners choose a primary heating system or add supplementary heating to any home.

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