Traditional Heating Furnace : A traditional furnace uses a system of ductwork throughout the building, moving air into the furnace to be warmed, and then dispersed to living spaces. Some of the newer furnaces recirculate the warm air using blowers. A traditional furnace can be fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane, oil, wood, or coal. A gas or oil furnace has a pilot that warms a heat exchange unit, warms the air or water before it is circulated throughout the house. These systems have a flue to exhaust gases to the outside. Some oil furnaces have buried tanks to hold the fuel. If these leak, it could pose a serious environmental hazard. Electric furnaces use heating elements to warm the air. Boilers use either hot water or steam to heat a home. Wood and coal furnaces burn fuel in a sealed fire box and a heat exchanger holds the warmed air for delivery. All of these furnaces typically have a thermostat that controls the temperature in the living space.
Electric Heat Pump (Geothermal): Electric heat pumps move heat from one place to another.(They can also function as an air conditioner when the weather is warm) Heat pumps extract heat from outside air, the ground, or surface water. Once the air is heated, it is sent through a system of vents and filters similar to traditional forced air heating system.
Radiant Heat: Radiant heat comes in two types, convection or hydronic (water). Hydronic heat uses baseboards, floors, walls, or ceilings where it is most needed. Radiant heat can be just as effective as any other form of heating. It's greatest advantage is the uniform heating range, and high comfort level. No blowers are needed for these systems. There are no hot or cold spots. Most radiant heat is installed when a home or building is constructed, but there are some professionals who specialize in retrofitting these systems. Once coils are installed and connected, hot water or electricity will provide the heat to be distributed through the coil system.
Space Heaters: Space heaters are typically a portable, self contained device that are used to heat small enclosed spaces. Any space heater that runs on gasoline or kerosene should NEVER be used inside your home. These heaters give off high levels of CO2, and could create life threatening, or deadly situations. Electric space heaters are designed to use inside your home, but still need to be operated with caution, as some units can get very hot, and could cause damage or burns.
What kind of heating systems are available?
There are several types of heating systems for your home or business. It is important to be aware of all options before making a decision on what method of heat you will use.