Choosing the Perfect Central Heating for Your Home

Published: April 2, 2014 - by Jenny Corteza

Categories: For Homeowners

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Photo Credits: realestate.com

Central heating provides the heat for the entire home from one location. Choosing the right system is important for it can save you fuel and energy, and eventually-money. It can also increase your home’s value. Selecting which system is perfect for you is not just a matter of picking up a brand of boiler, for there are other important things to consider. The first best thing to do is learn about the main types of central heating system, enumerating their advantages and disadvantages. After that, know your other options once you decide on the system to use. These are the main central heating systems used:

Electric-based

Electric heating, also called resistance heating, directly converts electricity to heat. Electric heat is usually more expensive than those produced by combustion equipments such as propane, natural gas and oil. It can be produced using space heaters, furnaces, baseboard, radiant and wall heaters, as well as thermal storage systems. Electric boilers allow you to have a central heating system and hot water in one. There are nighttime heaters, wherein the electricity at night, which is “cheaper”, is heated up using special bricks that heat the home round the clock.

 

Geothermal Heating

 

Photo Credits: WaterFurnace.com

Geothermal heating is a central heating system that transfers heat from the ground. This one uses the earth as the heat source or heat sink. The system benefits from the moderate temperature of the ground, thereby reducing operational costs while boosting efficiency. The design may be combined with solar heating. The beauty of geothermal heat pumps is that it can cool down the house during summer and not just heat it up during winter, since heat is moved rather than generated. It can be used not just in homes but also for large buildings.

 

Solar

Photocredits: Shropshire Solar

Solar heating system provides central heating and hot water using solar thermal collectors. These collectors or heating plants heat the water and distribute it through pipe networks. These are mounted on the roofs. The system may involve large thermal storage used for seasonal storage. This is necessary to store heat collected during summer. Central solar heating offer cost-efficiency compared to solar combination systems. Solar heating is also reliable for hot water supply. Solar heating can either be active or passive systems.

Steam

Steam heating system uses burned bunker oil to product steam. It is energy efficient especially when used on a larger scale. It is also one of the oldest types of central heating. A central boiler is used to supply pressurized steam, which is then distributed within the home through pipes. This system is implemented mostly in factories.

 

Gas Central Heating

Photo Credits: Eulinx Energy Services

Gas central heating is the typically used type of heating system in most homes today, and it is divided into three types:

  1. Combination Boiler. This system heats water, as you need it, no longer requiring the use of hot water storage. It uses main water pressure thus eliminating overflow tanks. This is ideal for homes with less space and less requirement for hot water.

  2. Gravity Fed. An older gas heating type that relies on gravity for water pressure. This requires additional tanks storage for cold water and expansion. It is ideally installed in lofts.

  3. High Pressure. It operates from the mains water supply at high pressure, so shower pumps are no longer needed. This is ideal for large homes and families.

Warm Air

The system pumps warm air to heat homes using vents placed in the ceilings and walls. Air is heated using a warm unit that burns gas and heat mixes with the air, which is then circulated through ducts. This is ideal for timber-framed homes. It uses no water tank and radiators. Cooling can also be incorporated. However, it may be costly and difficult to install for an old property. After having it installed, you can also consider artificial grass from Arizona Lawns for a greener home.

Conclusion

To help you choose which specific central heating system is best for your home, you can answer a few questions in mind. Think about the system you are trying to consider, particularly if it has the appropriate size compared to the area to be heated. Other considerations include how efficient it is, how long does it heat the area, its cost, its greenhouse emissions, and heat settings. You may also think if you need one that can be zoned or thermostatically controlled. Consult a reliable contractor about which type best suits your home and your specifications. You may ask quotes from several contractors before contracting with one of them.