10 Different Types of Heating Systems You Need to Know
A heating system, in short, maintains the temperature of a home to keep it warm enough.
As a homeowner, it becomes your duty to make sure that you get the right type of heating system according to the place you live in.
Related: Electric Vs Gas Heaters
In that aspect, without having enough knowledge about different types of heating systems, it would become a relatively difficult job to set your focus on one specific system.
For that purpose, we would like to help you gain knowledge about the latest heating system types and how each one of them works.
Less talk, more action!
Let us start the discussion, without any further ado:
Understanding the term HVAC
Before moving on to the main heating system types, you need to understand what HVAC actually stands for.
HVAC is abbreviated as “Heating, Ventilation, and air-conditioning.” We use this term to define the whole climate control system of a home.
No matter what type of HVAC or heating system you use, the purpose of these appliances is the same, i.e. maintaining a temperature to an optimum level.
Main Fuel Sources of Heating Systems
Another important thing to study!
Many heating appliances these days use different fuel sources.
The most common ones include biofuel, natural gas, propane, electricity, or special fuel oil.
Not only that, but you will also notice that some homes could use two heating systems at once.
That usually happens when homeowners want to cover a large area of the home and in that case, one heating system is simply not enough.
Enough with describing these terms!
Let’s get back to discussing the 10 main heating system types as under:
10 Types of Heating Systems to Consider for Your Home
By far the most common heating system used in the United States and all over the world!
Forced heating distribution system utilizes the use of a furnace combined with a blower fan. It then regulates the home temperature either by delivering heated or air-conditioned air.
Homeowners mainly opt for such a heating system as it offers a 2-in-1 working interface. Plus, you can utilize it both in winters and summers.
Fuel Source: Electricity, Propane, Natural Gas, and Oil.
Furnace heating system offers the forced distribution of warm and air-conditioned air through a duct system.
Besides, it’s an affordable way to keep your home’s temperature regulated enough.
However, the kind of fuel it uses could spark some insecurity in homeowners. Plus, it’s a real struggle to get it installed in the home.
Mostly utilized in old and traditional homes, boilers and radiator systems could be used as an efficient form of heating, especially for small houses.
This kind of system comes with a central boiler that circulates steam or water via pipes to specific radiator units installed at home.
Hot steam thus comes out of these units to maintain the temperature of a house.
Boilers could maintain heating in a small home or room. However, they won’t be sufficient enough for a large house or a spacious place.
Main Fuel Source: Natural Gas, Propane, Fuel Oil, and Electricity.
Not precisely better than other heating systems, but boilers could become an option if you want to heat a small house within a short budget.
3. Heat Pumps
Commonly known as a ductless heating system, heat pumps are getting quite popular as active heating systems for homes.
The working interface of this type of heating system resembles an air conditioner. Basically, heat is extracted from the air and delivered through a special indoor air handler placed in homes.
The system utilizes an outdoor compressor combined with the indoor air handler. Besides, you can also keep it in different rooms as per your preferences.
On top of that, you can expect a heat pump to offer a cool breeze during the summers.
Fuel Source: Natural gas or electricity only.
Heat pumps are rather innovative and technologically advanced. You can consider this heating system for your home if you reside in a mild climate area.
4. In-Floor Radiant Heating System
One of the most advanced heating systems used these days!
In-Floor Radiant heating system focuses on heating up objects or materials compared to the air only. The objects or materials could include furniture or flooring, etc.
Most of these systems use hot water heated in a water heater or a boiler to make and distribute heat.
Moreover, the installation of whole system is rather complex. In-floor heating is installed either in concrete slabs or under wooden floors while using plastic water tubing.
Apart from a quiet working interface, In-Floor Radiants are energy-efficient and could offer better heating with less fuel consumption.
Last but not the least, some in-floor systems are also installed via electric wires and that would make heating a bit expensive compared to the hot water system.
That is one of the reasons you will see electric in-floor radiants installed in small spaces such as washrooms only.
Main Fuel Source:
Mostly natural gas, electricity, or liquid propane.
Suitable for almost every home, in-floor radiants can distribute the heat evenly to keep the environment all cozy and warm. Make sure that you have enough money in the bag before you opt for this system.
5. Electric Resistance or Electric Heaters
Electric heaters are not actually a proper HVAC system, however, we can think of them as an alternative way to keep small rooms heated enough.
Using electricity as main fuel source, electric heaters would cause a big bump in your monthly electricity bills.
However, being compact and portable enough, you could use them in rooms, hallways, offices, basements, and any other small place you want.
Besides, the maintenance of this heating system is literally zero when we compare it with other systems.
Main Fuel Source: Electricity
A portable and easily transportable system, but wastes electric energy and could spike your electric bills easily.
6. Baseboard Heater System:
A modern radiant type, i.e. baseboard heating system uses a central boiler in which water is heated and then passed through a channel of water pipes to baseboarding units.
Having an updated mechanism compared to traditional boilers, baseboard heaters offer precise temperature control.
Plus, you could expect this type of heating system to ensure even heat distribution to maintain the overall temperature in a house.
Fuel Source: Electricity, Natural gas, Propane.
Baseboard heaters are not too common compared to other heating systems. However, they could be considered as an option to regulate heat of small homes on an affordable budget.
7. Electric Space Heaters:
Space heaters, also known as plug-in heaters meet the demands of homeowners who do not have to suffer from cold temperatures all year long.
You can think of electric space heaters as a temporary solution to regulate heat and keep the environment cozy enough.
Being compact and portable enough, these heaters are easily transferable from one place to another. Plus, they won’t take a lot of space to get adjusted.
Just find a wall socket, plug in the heater, and enjoy an unlimited supply of heat for a long time.
Fuel Source: Electricity.
Offering a temporary but instant heating boost, electric space heaters are a must for every household where the winter season is intense but won’t last long.
8. Active Solar Heating System:
Already getting all the spotlight in 2023, solar systems are becoming the new trend all over the town.
Just like other systems, this type of heating requires active solar energy and converts it into heat, which is then distributed evenly.
These systems usually need to be paired up with other HVAC systems. So, you will have to utilize either in-floor radiants, boilers, furnaces, or baseboard heating systems with solar panels.
Fuel Source: Solar Energy.
Quite a good option, especially if you are aiming for a long-term investment. Make sure that you already have an active heating system installed at your home before you opt for a solar system.
9. Hybrid Heating Systems:
Ideal for extremely cold regions, hybrid systems use heat pumps combined with a gas furnace to produce and distribute heat ideally.
In some conditions when the cold weather gets extreme, heat pumps will get assistance from gas furnaces to keep the inner environment as warm as possible.
In other words, both heating systems complement each other to make sure that the temperature remains regulated. It also means less repairs and maintenance hassles.
Fuel Source: Electricity and Natural gas.
Ideal choice for people living in areas where winters could last a whole year.
10. Gravity Air Furnace System:
An advanced version of traditional furnace systems, a gravity heating system also uses ducts to distribute the heat properly.
However, instead of a blower (in case of the furnace), this type of heating system lets the warm air rise which then gets regulated into the room to make the temperature even.
In terms of cool air, it sinks and gets back to cold air opening ducts where it’s utilized by the homeowner during the summers.
Fuel Source: Propane, electricity, or natural gas.
Gravity Air Furnace system can ensure even distribution of heat, however, it takes time to maintain the temperature ideally. You can consider it as a good alternative compared to traditional furnace systems.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
That’s all about the most advanced and some traditional heating system types available in 2023.
Based on this information, you could choose one specific type and decide to install it at your home. However, we would suggest that you take factors like your geographical location, your outdoor weather, and your budget in mind before making the final decision.