Types of Home Heating Systems

When it comes to keeping your apartment warm, there are several systems to subscribe to. Some of these systems are designed to share components with the cooling equipment in your home, while some are built to give off cooling and heating effect.

The acronym HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning; it explains the overall climate control in a home.

Regardless of the type of HVAC system used in a home, the primary purpose of having a heating appliance is to use the thermal energy generated from fuel and transfer this energy to a living space and maintain a warm environment.

Heating systems are designed to use different fuel sources; this includes propane, gas, fuel oil, electricity, and biofuel (wood). There are homes with multiple heating systems; this can be in the basement, and while the other heating system is fixed to other parts of the building. Read on to know more about the types of home heating systems.

Forced Air Heating/Cooling Systems

The forced-air system is labeled as one of the most used HVAC systems in North American homes. The device is built to use a furnace and has a blower fan built to convey warm air to other rooms using a duct network.

Force air can easily adjust to the room’s atmospheric temperature, and because these systems are designed to share the same ductwork and blower, their efficiency is increased.

Fuel sources

Forced-air system are powered by natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, or liquid propane (LP)

Distribution

Air warmed up by the heating element, or the furnace element, is transferred via a network of different ducts and directed to the heating registers represented in all the rooms. A different duct system returns cold air to the furnace.

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Gravity Air Furnace Systems

The gravity air furnace system is also designed to distribute air using a collection of metal ducts. This time, the device does not force in air through a blower; it uses the principle of warm air cooling sinking and warm air rising.

The furnace heats the air, which is then transferred into different rooms via the furnace ducts. The cool air is then transferred to the furnace through the cold air return ducts.

Most older homes have a gravity air furnace, which is also called an “octopus” furnace. Today, technology has rapidly taken over, and gravity air furnace is no longer invoked, although, in most traditional homes, the device still performs effectively.

Fuel sources

This air furnace system can be fueled with natural gas, fuel oil, electric or liquid propane (LP).

Distribution

Condition air is transfer throughout the room with the aid of metal ducts.

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In-Floor Radiant Heating Systems

The in-floor radiant heating system is one of the contemporary heating systems found in most modern homes. This apartment Heating System operates differently from the Forced Air Heating System. Here, the device generates enough heat to heat materials and objects in the room, including the floor and furniture.

Most home radiant systems are designed to distribute heat via a water heater or through a boiler. The In-floor Heating is made up of water tubing installed within a concrete slab or fixed to the bottom or top of a wooden floor.

It is energy efficient and runs smoothly, slow, but effective enough to transform the atmosphere of your abode. It also comes with an in-floor system that uses electric wiring installed beneath the floor, either stone or ceramic tile.

They consume less power and are more efficient than the hottest water system, and are typically meant for small rooms like bathrooms.

Fuel sources

A central boiler heats hot water tubing systems and its fuel with natural gas, electricity, liquid propane (LP). Solar hot water systems can also be used to supplement the fuel system.

Distribution

In-floor system are transferred via hot water that travels through a plastic tube.

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Traditional Boiler and Radiator Systems

Most apartments in North America use a radiator system and a traditional boiler. This system is made up of a central boiler that is meant to circulate hot water or steam across pipes directly to a radiator unit that is strategically positioned with the apartment.

The classic radiator is positioned close to the window. This is referred to as a steam radiator, although on some occasions, the term is inaccurate. There are two major types of systems designed to work with older radiators.

The steam boiler circulates gaseous steam via pipes to other parts of individual radiators. This steam further condenses and converts into the water, which is further transferred back to the boiler where it is reheated. Modern radiator systems are designed to transfer hot water to radiators using electric pumps.

The water gives off its heat at the radiator, where it’s converted into cooled water; this cooled water is further transferred and heated again. This radiator system is commonly used in Europe.

Fuel sources

Radiator/ Boiler are fueled by electric, natural gas, liquid propane (LP), and fuel oil. Some traditional boilers are built to work with coal.

Distribution

Heat is by hot water or steam, which is evenly distributed with the aid of metal pipes to a radiator strong enough to assist heat energy transfer.

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Hot Water Baseboard Radiator

This system is yet another ultra-modern radiator on our list; it’s also referred to as the Hydronic system.

The system is designed to use a centralized boiler to increase the water temperature that circulates across water pipes to a lower profile baseboard (heating unit). Baseboard is meant to radiate the heat generated and circulate it in the entire room with thin metal fins and different water pipes. This brand is an updated version of an upright radiator system.

Fuel sources

The hydronic system uses natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, and liquid propane while some are designed with solar heating systems.

Distribution

Hot water is converted into steam with the aid of a boiler and then transferred into a "fin-tube" that is mounted on the walls. The fins are built to boost the heat on the surface area for more efficiency. This system uses a natural convection method to distribute heat that is generated from the baseboard unit. Conversely, cold air falls back to the unit where it is heated.

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Heat Pump Heating Systems

The heat pump is a contemporary cooling and heating machine. The device is designed to use a system because it is pretty similar to heat pumps and air conditioners; this means it extracts heat from the air and transfers it to different rooms.

The standard home system draws heat generated from the outdoor. There is also a geothermal or ground-source. Heat pumps are built to pull heat from deep in the ground as well as from the water source that depends on the lake or pond for heat.

One of the most used air source heat pump is the ductless or mini-split system. This system is built with a small outdoor compressor with one or double handlers, which can be added to remote areas or rooms.

Most heat pumps are reversible and can easily be switched to an air conditioner during the winter. Heat pumps can be energy efficient; however, they are suitable for mild climates and effective in cold and extremely hot weather.

Fuel sources

Natural gas and electricity are the sources of the power of the heat pump.

Distribution

Cooling and heating effect are provided via a mounted wall built to blow air over the evaporator coils connected to an outdoor pump, which can either absorb or extract heat from outdoor.

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Electric Resistance Heating Systems

These heaters are not commonly used at home as the primary heating source,¬†because operating them tends to be a bit expensive. However, they’re still rated as one of the globally accepted means of heating homes, offices, basements, and seasonal rooms like a sunroom and the three-season porches.

One of the edge-cutting advantages is that they are pretty easy to install and are more affordable than most of the heating systems we reviewed on this list. Electric Resistance Heating Systems have no moving parts. Therefore, they require less maintenance. 

Aside from the usual conventional baseboard heaters, electric heaters are designed to heat the room with the principle of radiation. They are directed specifically toward the room or installed near the ceiling. As compared to baseboard units radiant heaters are energy efficient.

Fuel sources

Electricity is the only fuel source for electric resistance heating systems as they convert 100% electric energy into heat.

Distribution

Baseboard heaters are designed to function with the convection method of heat transfer for heating the entire room. Wall-mounted heaters and other heaters like the toe-kick use an internal fan to distribute warm air all through the room.

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