If you are thinking about installing a new heating system or a heating system upgrade, it’s important to consider all your options! Sometimes switching to a different heating system comes with major benefits for your Ohio home — and your wallet. Take a look at the most common residential heating options and how they differ.
Furnaces are a solution for heating in cold climates and often used as shorthand to describe any heating system. But a true furnace uses fuel to create heat. Fuels include oil, natural gas, and propane (LPG), although we don’t see many oil furnaces in homes these days. Furnaces can be very efficient with natural gas and similar fuels, but access to those fuels may be more difficult for some homes than others. Propane is often used as an alternative when natural gas isn’t available — but be warned: Fuel prices can vary over time as well as location.
A boiler heats up water, which then transfers the heat throughout the home via radiant tubing, baseboard heaters, and other components. Otherwise, it operates very similarly to a furnace, using a fuel source to create heat. You see this option used in radiant floor heating in newer homes. It’s also a popular option when homeowners don’t want even a trace of fuel particles in their home air. However, boilers tend to be more expensive than furnaces.
Heat pumps use refrigerant (a specially designed gas/liquid that can hold a lot of heat energy) to move heat around, which means they can both heat and cool in different modes and typically the most energy efficient. When heating, they extract heat from outdoor air and move it into the house using a series of fins and coils. Since heat pumps don’t use fuel, they can be extremely efficient in the right weather, and help lower the costs of heating your home. A lack of fuel sources or heating elements also means that heat pumps are easy to maintain with basic care and an occasional visit to check on refrigerant levels.
Electric heaters use a heating element, which is designed to displace an electrical current and change a portion of that current into heat energy, which radiates out from the element — just like an electric stove! Electric furnaces aren’t very common these days (although some heat pumps have backup elements) because they are extremely expensive to run compared to other heating models. However, they can still perform well as mobile spot heaters if you have a particularly cold room.
Have questions about your system or need a full house inspection? Contact us at Service Olympians to learn more!