Different Types of Heating Systems

Different Types of Heating Systems

 

There are several heating systems for homes, offices, and industrial settings. Though some are more optimized for certain locations than others. Size and power considerations are some of the biggest differences since heating something like a small home or basement apartment is a lot different from regulating temperature somewhere like a high-rise or major shopping structure. Still, the basic operating technology is usually somewhat consistent no matter the setting. Most systems are one of five major types namely:

 

  • Forced Air 
  • Radiant Heat
  • Hydronic Systems
  • Steam Radiant
  • Geothermal

 

Each type should be considered for effectiveness in meeting the budget and heating and cooling needs. 

 

Forced Air Systems

 

Most commonly seen in residential structures and is also used a lot in larger buildings like offices and stores. It works by heating air in the furnace and then forcing the air out into various areas of the building through installed ductwork and vents. It is also commonly known as the Central Heating System because it comes from a central point in the structure. Usually, a closet where it can be filtered, humidified, or dehumidified. 

 

The air can be heated with various methods including electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil. Since this can be used to address both heating and cooling, the system is convenient for many people and is also efficient where utility space is concerned. The ductwork required to use this system is usually installed within the building’s interior walls. Hence, making this difficult to install this system in an older home and can require extra planning with new construction.

 

The furnace used may be noisy and heard throughout the building. This system can also move allergies throughout the house as the air circulates and the filtration systems will require regular maintenance to retain optimal function. The downside of this system is that it can be expensive to maintain especially as they age.

 

Radiant Heat

 

This system is often praised for its ability to produce natural and comfortable heat that is consistent throughout a building. In this sort of system, a centralized pump uses a network of hot water tubes underneath the floor or within ceiling panels to distribute the heat. The hot water is heated using a boiler that is usually powered by oil, natural gas, propane, or electricity A heating stove may also be used to heat the water and this may be powered by coal or wood. 

 

Radiant Heat takes a bit of time to heat a room because the water must first be heated and circulated through the pipes. It can be expensive to install and maintain because of the difficulty involved in getting to the tubing systems if a problem occurs. 

 

Cooling is not usually available in this type of heating system since cooling generally requires a completely separate system of ductwork. Hot water pipes can warm an area but cold ones won’t normally cool it. Air needs to circulate for this to happen.

 

Hydronic Systems

 

Also known as a hot water baseboard system. Much like in radiant systems, a boiler heats hot water for this system which then is circulated through tubes that are located in baseboard heating units attached to the walls in each room of the home. These systems are usually quite energy-efficient and may be fueled by electricity, oil, or natural gas. Temperature can usually be controlled separately in each room.

 

Baseboard units should not be blocked curtains or furniture which does make them inconvenient for some users. As with radiant heat, hydronic systems can be slow to warm the room and will require a separate cooling system. 

 

Steam Radiant

 

The steam radiant system heats a room through upright units referred to as radiators. These systems use either one or two pipes and heat water through a variety of methods such as electricity, oil, or natural gas. While these units may be efficient and warm the room quickly, they can be inconvenient when it comes to furniture placement as the surrounding area must be clear to avoid fire hazards.

 

Many people do not like the way radiators look in a room and therefore choose another system. Radiators are typically used only for heating which means that building owners who want cool air conditioning will need a different system for that.

 

Geothermal Heaters

 

This type of heating system is a more recent option for heating and cooling and is most common in homes and eco-conscious office spaces. These systems use natural heat from the ground to regulate internal temperatures. They can be very expensive to install but many owners say that they will more or less pay for themselves over time. Most are very energy efficient and don’t use much in the way of electricity or other non-renewable resources which means that utility bills will often be quite low. 

 

This system works for both heating and cooling because it uses the relativity constant temperature of the ground as a regulating measure comparing options and making a choice. When homeowners and building contractors are choosing a heating system for a particular structure, they are usually wise to think about how the system will be powered besides, how much it will cost. 



All of these systems are different so it’s important to understand what type of system you should need for winter days.

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