Pick the best local HVAC company for your heating system installation
Winters in the north can be long and cold. For the safety of your family and the protection of your home’s plumbing system, it’s important that your home be adequately heated. But which heating system is the best?
All heating systems have pros and cons. This easy guide will walk you through some of the most common types.
Types Of Heating Systems
In order to decide what type of heating system will work best in your home, it’s important to understand all the options. Many people are familiar with gas furnaces, but that is not the only heating system on the market.
A furnace is an example of central heating. This appliance burns natural gas or oil to heat the air, which is then distributed throughout the home via a system of metal ducts and vents. It is sometimes referred to as a forced-air system because the warm air is forced by a fan into the home.
- Popular: The most common choice for home heating in North America, gas furnaces, in particular, are widely available. Because of their widespread use, it’s easy to find a local HVAC company to service them.
- Energy efficient: Despite burning fuel, furnaces are the most efficient at evenly heating the average home. Thanks to advances in technology, gas and oil furnaces are more energy efficient than ever.
- Reliable: When well-maintained, a residential furnace can last 15 to 20 years.
- Requires fuel: Most furnaces burn either natural gas or oil, which require a fuel hookup inside the home. Paying for that fuel can get expensive over time.
- Generates CO: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of burning fuel. This odorless gas is lethal. Fuel-burning furnaces generate CO, therefore posing a potential safety risk.
The ductless system does not deliver warm air via ducts and registers. Rather, each room has its own handler, which is typically wall-mounted. This heating system uses refrigerant to draw heat from outside and deliver warm air inside.
- Flexible: Ductless systems are ideal for homes that do not have a ductwork system in place. They can be used to heat one room or many.
- Useful year-round: Ductless systems can also be used for air conditioning in the summer.
- Energy efficient: Ductless systems offer efficiency ratings up to 30 SEER, and prevent the heat loss common to ductwork systems.
- Expensive: The upfront installation cost is less than a traditional furnace, but a ductless system runs on electricity, and can quickly become very expensive to operate.
- More maintenance: The filter in a ductless system needs to be cleaned at least monthly, and the whole system should be inspected and maintained by a professional annually.
A boiler generates heat using hot water. That hot water is distributed throughout the home via radiators, where it gives up its heat to make the home comfortable. The cooled water is returned to the boiler to be reheated. This is often referred to as hydronic heating.
- Better air quality: Boilers don’t use forced air to deliver heat, and therefore don’t blow around a lot of dust and debris.
- Quiet: Boiler systems do not generate as much noise as traditional heating systems.
- Multipurpose: Some boiler systems can be set up to provide hot water to fixtures, as well, eliminating the need for a separate water heater.
- Easy zoning: With hydronic heating, it’s easy to heat only certain parts of the home, or have different zones set to variable temperatures. This saves in energy costs.
- Leaks: Boiler systems use water, and the pipes and seams of the storage tank can leak over time. They are also susceptible to freezing.
- Maintenance: Homeowners should clean and bleed their radiators annually. In addition, the pressure should be monitored regularly.
- Slow to adjust temperature: Boiler systems are slow to react, so the temperature cannot be adjusted rapidly or often. The temperature on a traditional system can be adjusted multiple times throughout a day; for a boiler heating system, it’s best to leave the temperature constant.
Heat pumps work similarly to ductless systems. A heat pump draws heat from an external source, cycles it through an air handler, and distributes it throughout the home via forced air. The external source for heat can be the outside air, or underground.
- Useful year-round: Heat pumps can also be used for air conditioning by reversing the process.
- Energy-efficient: Heat pumps require electricity for the air handler to move air, not generate heat, so they output more energy than they consume.
- Clean and green: Heat pumps do not burn gas or oil. All heat is naturally sourced.
- Expensive: The cost to purchase and install a heat pump is usually pretty high. But they are cheaper to run, overall, and savings are reflected in operating costs.
- Unreliable in cold climates: Heat pumps have variable Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF). In climates that are very cold, where the ground freezes, a heat pump might not be as effective.
- Needs refrigerant: Heat pumps use refrigerant or other fluids to transfer the heat. These refrigerants are often not sustainable and may even be harmful.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best HVAC System For Your Home
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when shopping for a new heating system. For expert advice, contact your local HVAC company. If you are searching for a Vancouver HVAC company, try Miller’s Heating & Air.
Size Of Home
A heater’s output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). The larger your home, the more BTUs you’ll need to sufficiently heat it throughout.
Ductwork layout is important because it helps to determine how powerful a heater you will need. Large homes with long, winding duct branches will need a more powerful unit.
Homes that do not have ductwork already in place will need to have it installed, or the homeowner can choose a heating system that does not use ducts.
Budget is a consideration because some heating systems cost more to operate than others. Initial cost is not the only consideration; you will also need to think about how much you can afford in monthly fuel and/or electric bills.
As for the initial installation, many HVAC companies offer financing options to help their clients get the best heating system for their home.
Get Help From A Trusted Vancouver HVAC Company: Miller’s Heating & Air
Miller’s Heating & Air is the best local HVAC company in Vancouver, WA. In the industry for over 73 years, our technicians are experienced in the installation, repair, and maintenance of multiple heating systems, including furnaces, ductless systems, boilers, heat pumps, and more. When choosing the best HVAC system for your home, you can trust the experts at Miller’s Heating & Air.