You may have wondered why most people feel comfortable when the temperature is between 70º and 74º although the normal body temperature is much warmer, 98.6°. The answer is that the body has its own heating system, which generates more heat than we require, and the excess is continually given off to the surrounding air.
Since our body creates its own heat, the purpose of a home heating system is simply to control the amount of heat in the air so that our bodies can dissipate excess heat in comfort.
There are three heating systems today, which are most commonly installed in homes: forced warm air systems, electric resistance systems, and hydronic hot water systems. Before selecting a system for your home, you should know how each, in varying degrees, affects the loss of heat by your body, and keeps you comfortable.
How do you know if you have a forced-air system or hydronic heating system? Here are a few things to check for:
Forced air systems have vents located in the floor around outside walls and under windows, which is where the greatest heat loss would take place in your home. In the utility area where the furnace is located, ductwork is visible leading from the top of the furnace and branching out to connect to other ducts that carry the heated air to the rooms in the house. In addition, when the system turns on, you will hear and feel air moving out of the vents.
Hydronic heating systems use radiators or baseboards located on the outside walls and under windows. A boiler used to heat the water will be found in the utility area and instead of large ductwork, piping will be visible leading from the boiler and connecting to the piping that carries the hot water throughout the system. Hydronic heating is quiet…no sound of rushing air.