What Are The Different Types of Heating Systems?

We all like to be comfortable in our home and business environment. If it’s hot outside, we want to be cooler inside. If it’s cold outside, we want to be warm inside. That’s the beauty of modern technology. With the flick of a switch, we can have whatever environment we choose within our dwelling. However, modern technology is man-made and therefore subject to breakdowns and flaws. There will come a time when you will either need to purchase a completely new heating system or replace an existing one. What many people fail to realize is the fact that there are actually several different types of heating systems. Most assume that’s there’s only the standard HVAC forced air system, but indeed there are many different ways to heat your space. By educating yourself on all types of heating options, you will have a better understanding of what system will best suit your needs.

The first, and most common, type of heating system is the forced air system. This system uses fans to push air through a duct system. It can operate on a variety of fuel sources, including gas, propane, electricity, or oil. The air is conditioned by the furnace or boiler and blown back into the dwelling. There are several reasons why people choose to go with the standard duct system. With a forced air system, you can humidify and filter air if you like. This can be a huge advantage in particularly cold areas with winter heating drying out your environment, and it is also helpful in areas with high pollen count or bad outdoor air quality. Another obvious advantage to this type of system is the ability to cool air utilizing the same equipment.

Another option you can use as a heating source is the radiant heating system. This type of system can take a number of forms, including a pot-bellied stove or in-floor tubing. The warmth is directly transferred to the cool surface, heating it up. It is similar to the forced air system in that it can run on a variety of fuel types including gas, oil, propane, or electricity. If the system is powered by a stove, it may use coal or wood in conjunction with other fuel types. While it does a great job heating and creates an extremely comfortable environment, this heating option can be costly to install and can take a while to heat up your home. Another downfall to this option is the fact that you cannot cool air using the same equipment. Instead, you will need to purchase a separate system to cool air.

Yet another option is the Steam Radiant system. Like its cousin, the radiant heating system, it cannot be used to cool air. The system typically works by using iron uprights that utilize steam to heat an area. All fuel sources are an option for these types of system, and they are quick to warm up your environment, though it is considered an older type of technology.

By fully educating yourself in regards to your heating options, you understand the impact a decision can have on the rest of your household. For example, if you choose a radiant heating system or a steam radiant system, you will need to purchase a separate system to cool air, and you will not be able to humidify or filter the air. Once you have mapped out what you think your best option is, be sure to investigate what other pros and cons there may be to that type of system, and what types of repairs and maintenance are required for the life of the system.

Geothermal Heating Systems Cost

Throughout winter time, using heating units is crucial. It can certainly become extremely frigid during this season and your house needs its share of heat. Putting in windows with insulating material can help keep the warmth inside a household but still, more warmth is required. During this season, your home may have an increase in power expenses as a result of the power necessary to operate heating units. Thankfully, researchers have discovered a method to generate warmth naturally without the usage of power.

This natural heat source is actually referred to as geothermal heating systems. This heating system is powerful and can supply heat for an entire home or perhaps an entire building. Where does the heat originate from? It comes from the Earth. Most people are well-aware that underneath the Earth’s surface is captured heat. This heat is tested to be close to 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. This warmth is preserved and renewable; therefore you don’t have to worry about acquiring a lot of heat from the Earth. As you can see, this is a very natural heat source; you do not have to use electricity, boilers or heating units.

Just how do geothermal heating systems work? There are 3 parts of the system including the ground loop system, heat pump as well as the furnace unit. 1st, the ground loop system or sometimes referred to as “closed loops” are set up beneath the building. It is a system of tubes that are filled with liquids like anti-freeze, water or refrigerant. This fluid travels down to the Earth’s source of heat and absorbs the warmth.

The 2nd portion of the geothermal heating systems is the heat pump. Experts use a heat pump to pump out the heat from the Earth; the pump is responsible for pulling up heat from the Earth’s heat source and letting the fluid in the pipes absorb the heat. This is actually the primary mechanism that enables the system to pump out heat.

The last element is the distribution system. Once the heat is soaked up and the liquid goes up the pipes, it’ll go directly to the furnace unit where the distribution system is. When the heat gets to the distribution system, the building or household can now get the heat it requires during the winter season.

The cycle proceeds like this-when the liquid element has released the heat, it goes back down to absorb heat again. This continuous cycle or process of geothermal heating systems provides a continuous heat flow in the building or household during cold seasons.

Apart from providing heat, the system can actually cool as well. The cycle will happen in reverse with the valves soaking up the heat from the home or building and pumping it out. The same liquid in the ground loop system will absorb the heat from the property or home and cycle it out. This system is beneficial during the summer months when people encounter extreme heat. Energy bills tend to increase due to the usage of electric fans and air-conditioning systems and cycling the heat away might mean financial savings on your part. In addition, you don’t really need to use power for the hot water heaters since you can tap into the kept heat in the tube’s liquid.

The main reason why geothermal heating systems are popular throughout the cold season is because they are cost-effective. You will be saving lots of money on electricity bills because your heat source is natural. It is said that making use of geothermal heating systems can save you up to 70% on your electricity bills. Moreover, this system also generates more heat without using energy compared to boilers and electric heaters.

Setting up a geothermal heating system doesn’t mean you won’t spend some money. This is an expense that will make you spend a big amount. You will have to install the ground loop system and heat pump and this cost about $2500. For a standard home, it will cost around $4000 for the entire system. The total amount looks pricey but geothermal heating systems lasts roughly 20-30 years. They are quite low in maintenance too. If you think about it, spending this much on something you will use for 20-30 years with 50-70% savings on electricity bills is a very reasonable trade-off.

Besides the energy bill savings you will get, the best thing about this system is that it is natural and renewable. You’re not releasing any harmful chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere and you are not expending any energy at all. It is clean, safe and there’s a constant flow of it. Making use of geothermal heating systems is helpful for anyone living on Earth. Furthermore, this system has been proven to work and efficient in providing heat even in the harshest climates around the globe.

Different Types of Underfloor Heating Systems

Underfloor heating systems can be built using three different methods, forced air, electric radiant and wet. Which method is used depends on the design and nature of the building that the system will be installed in and the proprietors’ personal tastes, but in the whole the most common installations are electric radiant or wet.

Forced Air Underfloor Heating Systems

The oldest form of underfloor heating system is the forced air method and this can be traced back to the Roman times. The air is heated by a furnace and then forced through a network of pipes and ducts under the floor.

Systems of this nature carry a few problems:

  • Allergens are forced into the atmosphere
  • The system requires the burning of fossil fuel
  • Regular inspection and maintenance required

For these and other reasons, forced air heating systems are very rarely used nowadays as the two other methods provide much better benefits at a vastly reduced financial outlay.

Wet Underfloor System

Wet heating systems (also known as hydronic) use a continuous loop of pipes that are embedded into the floor and circulate a nonstop flow of hot water. This method can be employed to heat most wooden flooring and is a very popular method of underfloor heating due to its efficiency and comfort. A central heating boiler provides the systems hot water and although they can be installed anywhere in a building, wet underfloor systems are usually fitted on the ground floor when the building is being constructed or when major renovations are being carried out.

Electric Radiant Underfloor Systems

Electric radiant systems are essentially electric cables that are run underneath the floor and heated by the use of a thermostat. These underfloor systems are available in three different formats: electric heating mats, electric heating cables or floor warming systems. Electric radiant underfloor systems are extremely easy to install and the heat zones are even easier to create and regulate.

Hydronic & Electric Radiant System Advantages

Electric radiant and hydronic underfloor systems have both got some very advantageous characteristics for the home owner or corporate business. The hydronic system can be heated from a variety of sources and if, for instance, oil becomes too expensive the system can be switched to another heat source such as solar panelling very easily. The water remains warm for longer so is very economical to run compared to other room heating systems. The hydronic system is much quieter than the forced air method and does not emit dust or allergens into the air. It is ideal solution for heating an entire building or room as the piping required does not carry a high cost.

Electric underfloor heat systems allow for zonal heating and the ability to easily regulate the heating throughout the building. This will reduce energy consumption of up to 52% over other conventional central heating systems. An electric radiant underfloor heating system can be installed very easily and will utilise existing edifices and heating zones.

Underfloor Systems – Which One?

So, what is the best underfloor heat system to have installed? The answer to this question is both simple and complex. A major factor is the type of the building you intend installing the heating system into. The affordability of the project also counts heavily and whether the building is an established structure or a new build. But what matters over all else is the requirements and tastes of the customer.