Deciding to replace your home's existing heating and cooling system is an important one. Not only can a new system keep your family more comfortable, but it can also save you money on your utility bills, raise the resale value of your home, and decrease your carbon footprint too. The secret is figuring out what type of HVAC system is best for your home and your family. Consider the pros and cons of these common types of furnaces before you decide to buy.
Conventional Forced Air HVAC Systems
Conventional HVAC systems work by heating (or cooling) the air and forcing it throughout the home via air ducts. They may be run by electricity, oil, or gas, which fuels the combustion unit to heat the air. Conditioned air is then forced through the ductwork via a fan. These HVAC units are often referred to as forced air systems. The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the system depends on the specific model. Newer models are more efficient than older models, but some heat loss does occur as exhaust from the unit escapes up the chimney. With forced air, you may experience temperature fluctuations throughout the day. For many people, the temperature fluctuations are not bothersome, but for some, such as the elderly, it may be annoying or uncomfortable. In addition, some may find the noise of the air blowing through the ductwork distracting.
Boiler or Hot Water Systems
With a boiler of hot water system, the furnace heats water and forces the hot water through pipes that travel to individual rooms in your home. The pipes may run through baseboard heaters, or they may feed radiators. The heat from the hot water radiates through the room. Some people claim that heat produced from hot water provides a more steady source of heat than forced hot air. While you can often hear the water as it circulates throughout your home, a boiler or a hot water system is typically quieter than forced hot air. This system can also provide hot water for your home, eliminating the need for a separate hot water heater for showers and household chores.
Heat pumps are versatile and efficient as they provide warm or cold air almost instantaneously. They function as both a heater and an air conditioner that responds to the touch of a thermostat. Generally, a home requires more than one heat pump to heat all areas of the home. Heat pumps operate on electricity and produce more energy than they consume, saving you big bucks on your energy bill. Many heat pumps operate by blowing the conditioned air directly into the room without the use of ductwork; however, some supply the needed heating or cooling via refrigerant lines run through the home similar to the way ductwork is run for a conventional furnace.
Many find radiant heat comforting and relaxing, similar to relaxing in front of the fire. There are a number of options for radiant heat sources, which typically means gas-fired direct heating equipment. These units may be mounted on the wall or freestanding. The units function without ductwork and are generally suitable to heating a small area, such as one room or a seating area. Radiant heating is a good choice if your main concern is making a cool room feel more comfortable or if you spend the most of your time in one room. Many people install radiant heaters in the living room to keep it warm on cold winter nights while they hunker down to watch TV or read.
If your need help to decide which kind of furnace or heating and cooling system is right for your family and your home, our professionals at Action Heating and Air, Inc. can help you determine the best heating and cooling system for your circumstances. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.