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Types of Home Heating Systems

To choose the right heating system for your home (and that best meets your needs), you must first understand the types of home heating systems that are available. What follows is a brief overview of some of the most common types.

Hydronic Heating System

Hydronic heating maintains comfort in your home with hot water circulating throughout the home. The system consists of a boiler, pump and baseboards connected by water piping. The boiler heats water to temperatures between 120º and 210º, and the water is then pumped through the piping in the baseboards located around the outer perimeter of the home for a curtain of warmth, or in the floor in radiant systems.

Radiant systems are special composite plastic piping systems embedded in the floor. The energy from the heated water in the pipes radiates to the surrounding environment, warming the floors, furniture and anyone in the room. Cold tile floors become warm and inviting, and they provide maximum decorating versatility – you do not have to worry about where to put furniture.

Warm Air System

In a warm air system, air is used to conduct heat from the furnace to rooms in the house. Air is warmed as it passes over a heat exchanger, then blown through the house by a motorized blower. Sheet metal ducts channel the heated air to various areas of the house, and the heat enters each room through registers.

Electric Resistance System

With resistance heating, electricity heats the element, and this gives off heat to each room. However, resistance heating cannot actually be called a central heating system, since it is basically a series of room units.