Today's homeowners have a number of choices for home heating systems. Whether you're building a new home or renovating an older one and replacing a heating system, remember to think in terms of both efficiency and overall comfort. Read on for some of the most popular options.
Forced air heating and cooling. Forced air central heating and air conditioning continue to be the most popular HVAC choice for most homeowners the U.S. Air is heated by a furnace (or cooled by an air conditioner) and distributed by a blower and a system of ducts. Central heating is easy to install, repair and find parts for. Gas-fueled central heating is relatively inexpensive to operate. These systems are sometimes noisy, and can heat unevenly as hot air lingers near the ceiling, leaving a room's occupants chilly at floor level. They have improved markedly in efficiency over recent years.
Radiators. An older type of heating, radiators use steam heat from boilers, which runs through baseboard or vertical units. Radiators are quiet and energy efficient. However, they take up room and vents shouldn't be blocked. Sometimes the heating doesn't reach into the far corners of the room.
Radiant heat flooring. Radiant heat flooring is an increasingly popular choice, as it's efficient and comfortable. A boiler heats water that flows through pipes in or below flooring. There are no vents, but people are warmed directly from the floor up. It's expensive to install and repair, and may not work with all types of floors.
Electric heating. This may not be the best option for our region, as electricity, whether to run a furnace, heat pump or baseboard heaters, may be too expensive over a long winter. Heat pumps for heating work best in warmer climates, although they have been improved for regions with freezing temperatures.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about home heating systems and other energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.