A Practical Guide to Home Heating Systems
How often do you think about your home heating system? When was the last time you changed your furnace filter or cleaned out your ducts? It’s easy to forget these things when we’re wrapped up in the daily hustle and bustle of life. But if you want to keep warm this winter, it’s important that you take care of your heating system before it starts getting cold outside. To help with that, here are some tips for keeping a clean and efficient home heating system:
What Is A Home Heating System?
A home heating system is a device that transfers heat energy from one place to another.
It can be used in both homes and businesses, along with industrial settings. A home heating system uses an outside power source (electricity or gas) to transfer the necessary amount of energy into your building. The air inside will then begin warming up until it reaches the desired temperature needed for your comfort level!
What Are Some Important Things I Should Know?
- You need at least 45 BTU per square foot on average if you want enough warmth throughout your living space during the winter months; anything less than this number could make you feel chilly all day long.
- If you live in colder climates like Canada or Alaska, having more than 60 BTU per square foot is recommended.
- Central heating systems are not only the most popular choice for home heating, but they’re also the most efficient.
- A furnace heats air and distributes it through your home through a series of ductwork; this type of system can be powered by natural gas, propane, or oil.
- If you have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, consider investing in a heat pump
- A heat pump extracts heat from the surrounding environment (outside during winter months and inside during summer), then uses that heat to warm up your home
- Radiant floor heating is another option to consider if you want a cozy and comfortable living space; this type of system circulates hot water or electricity through tubing underneath your flooring to heat your home
- If you want a backup heating system in case of power outages, consider installing a wood stove.
- Firewood can be purchased and stored in your home throughout the year; it’s also cheaper than other options
- With this type of heating system, you’ll never have to worry about adjusting the thermostat throughout different seasons
There are several types of electric heaters:
- A ceramic heater emits radiant infrared heat;
- A fan-forced heater blows heated air directly into the room;
- Convection ovens circulate warm air throughout an entire space
When choosing any type of heating unit for your home, make sure it has safety features like tip-over protection or an automatic shut-off if they get tipped (or fall) down.
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages depending upon where your home is located geographically. Other factors that impact your home heating decision are the climate, how many people live in your home, and what type of fuel is available.
What Should I Consider When Purchasing?
- Is installation included in the price quote? If not, then expect that cost on top of what you were quoted for equipment rental.
- You need at least a ¼ inch gas line to connect the heater.
- How do you plan on venting it? The duct must be at least ½ an inch thick and follow all local codes. If not, then there is potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Is the system up to code? Some older homes may have issues with building or fire code requirements that require certain updates before installing this type of equipment.
The first option to consider when choosing a system for home heating is whether you want an active or passive solar setup. Active systems require pumps, fans, and other components while passive systems do not need these items as much which can lead to fewer maintenance issues over time. This being said there are more moving parts with an active system so it will cost more money upfront but could potentially save on long-term energy bills. The following break down each individual method:
Active Systems rely upon electricity either from batteries stored outside or via electric power lines run into the house itself because they depend on a pump that must be powered by electricity. In order to get the most out of this type, a system with a tracking panel will have to be used so it can follow the sun and heat up quickly in the morning when you want it at its hottest temperature for your home.
Active Systems Pros:
- Greatly increases energy efficiency over time due to long-term use resulting in lower power bills.
- Due to less reliance on nature, these types are easier if there is an absence of natural light or other environmental factors which could impact performance such as snow cover.
Active Systems Cons:
- The installation process itself may not be straightforward depending upon how existing heating systems already work within your house and whether any renovations need to be done beforehand before installation.
- The highest upfront cost of all heating system types.
Passive systems are cheaper to install and can be more reliable due to fewer moving parts, but they rely on the weather conditions outside in order to work most efficiently. Passive solar home heating usually involves installing large south-facing windows in a sunny spot in your home and using thermal mass materials such as bricks or water containers inside the house that will absorb the heat from the sun during the day and release it at night when temperatures drop.
Passive Systems Pros:
- Lowest long term costs of any system once installed
- The easy installation process with few moving parts – could even be done yourself!
- Environmentally friendly than active systems as less reliance on electricity involved
Passive Systems Cons:
- Less efficient during winter months when temperatures are colder and days shorter as they rely on the elements outside to work best. Passive systems may thus require an auxiliary heating system such as a wood-burning stove or electric heater in order to supplement its performance at these times of the year if you live somewhere that gets particularly cold winters.
- Cannot tap into active solar energy available all year round like other types can do, but limited by weather conditions so it is always better than nothing!
What Are Some Tips For Choosing An HVAC System?
When selecting an HVAC contractor to work on your project, make sure they have experience working with similar systems or projects. Adding more insulation around exterior doors and windows is another way to reduce heat loss from the outside air entering your home during the winter months.
Investing in weather stripping and caulking will help prevent drafts through smaller cracks that result when old homes settle over time.
For some homes, the best heating system choice may be a combination of various methods. It is possible to have an electric furnace with space heaters as backups for those first chilly nights in October and late-season snowfalls in April or May.
When your new HVAC installation is complete, it’s important to keep these tips in mind so you can get the most out of your investment.
A home heating system is a major purchase and not one that should be rushed into. This guide has been designed with the intention of providing you with all the information you need to come up with an informed decision about which type of system will work best for your needs. Call us today so we can help! We’ll take care of everything from finding out what kind of fuel you use or if there are any special requirements in your area, to working closely alongside your contractor during installation so they know exactly how it all works.
Do You Need an HVAC Installer You Can Trust?
Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As the premier Commercial and Residential HVAC Service provider for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, Superior Mechanical can do it all, from heating and air conditioning services to boiler services, to plumbing services. Our technicians are certified professionals who will ensure every part of your project is done right using a careful checklist to guide and test each step. At the end of your appointment, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your new system and give you tips on maintenance so it lasts for years to come. Contact us today for amazing service tomorrow!