11 Types Of Heating Systems

Heating systems improve our daily life, from enjoying hot showers to being warm and cozy during the winter. The demand for a good heating system is much higher the larger your home is. There are many types of heating systems that you can incorporate into your home to make it more comfortable, and we have researched them all for you. 

Improving your home's indoor climate starts with familiarizing each system's benefits and drawbacks. Here are systems you should know:

  1. Furnace
  2. Heat pump
  3. Ductless Mini Splits
  4. Boiler Radiant heating
  5. Electric Radiant Heat
  6. Solar Heating
  7. Space heating
  8. Water heating
  9. Gravity Air Furnace
  10. Electric Resistance Heating
  11. Fireplaces

Every system has its own advantages, drawbacks, and operational systems. Before installing them around your home, you need to weigh whether you can maintain them, or if they fit your lifestyle. Keep reading below to learn more about each heating system. 

floor heating system, the collector, the battery, 11 Types Of Heating Systems

10 Types Of Heating Systems

The types of heating systems can be condensed into three types: regular broilers, system broilers, and combination boilers.

You need to choose a system that suits your home the best since there is no one-size-fits-all heating system, so you will need to weigh your priorities and whether you want to heat only one area or the entirety of your house. 

1. Furnace

House heating concept - modern home gas fired boiler - energy and cash savings

Furnaces get their fuel from natural gas, induction, oil, or electricity. They distribute heated air around the home using a blower fan which is then pushed out on ducts that surround your house. 

Furnaces are one of the most efficient heating systems commonly used in homes. Some furnaces have lighter heat exchange, which makes the transfer of heat more efficient and effective. 

The sealed combustion chambers, which are only present in modern furnaces, control air better, so it doesn't waste extra heat. 

If you want a more efficient system, get a two-stage heating system. This way, you will be able to control the heat output during unpredictable weather. 

Prepare to shell out between $3,000-$7,000 plus labor costs if you plan on having a furnace.

Read: "Furnace Blower Motor Overheating – What To Do?."

2. Heat pump

Heat pumps use the same mechanism as air conditioners to deliver hot or cool air around your home. If you need heating, the heat pump pulls in the cold air outside and delivers heated air inside. 

Conversely, if you need to cool down, heat pumps can draw in the warm air outside and convert them to cooler air, which is distributed around your house--this heat pump operates through air-to-air distribution.

Air-to-air heat pumps cost around $2000-$5000 per unit. Installation cost will add 50% of the cost. 

Heat pumps convert and redistribute air using electricity, which is a more energy-efficient alternative to furnaces. These heat pumps are divided into three categories: air to air (which we've just covered), water source, and geothermal.

  • Geothermal heat pumps, on the other hand, transfer heat between your house and the ground underneath.
  • Water sources are the same; they depend on a nearby water source which the heat pump converts to either hot or cool air. 

Geothermal heat pumps cost between $3,000-$6,000. Installation costs are more expensive than the unit, with a price point of $1,000-$30,000. 

3. Ductless Mini-Splits

Rear view of young woman adjusting temperature of air conditioner using remote control at home

Ductless mini-splits are a type of heat pump. They operate just like an air conditioner, except the mechanism can be reversed and can distribute either hot or cool air. 

This is ideal if you don't want ducts running inside your walls and would like to improve your indoor climate. They are more energy-efficient, and they accommodate any temperature preferences. 

Mini-splits are also good at zone heating or cooling. This means that if you have a mini-split in each room, you can control the temperature in each one depending on your preference. 

A drawback of mini-splits is their high purchasing and installation cost. However, this is offset by the amount of energy you'll be saving once it's up and running. 

Mini-splits cost $1,000-$3,500 per unit, with a $500-$1,500 installation cost. 

Read: "Can You Install Central Air Conditioning Along With Electric Heating?"

4. Boiler Radiant heating

Boiler room - gas heating system

Radiant floor heating is one of the essential heating systems you need to have if you experience harsh winters. Boiler heaters provide radiant heat, which is distributed to the baseboard unit, radiators, and waterlines. 

They're one of the oldest forms of heating systems which have only recently become accessible for some homeowners. They make your home feel uniformly warm with no cold spots, ensuring maximum comfort.

With radiant heating, every corner and spot on the floor is comfortably warm. Radiant heating is more consistent compared to other systems since the heat panels are spread out and will not restart their heating cycle, which is often the issue with forced-air systems. 

Installing radiant floor heating would cost $6,000-$9,000. 

5. Electric Radiant Heat

Electric radiant heating uses electric cables or other effective conductors and creates a network that can consistently provide heat under the floor. Heating can be turned used on-demand, and it can be customized to fit your lifestyle: You can set a timer or control the temperature in specific rooms. 

Some drawback of this heating system is the energy costs you can incur. They are also less effective than boiler heating systems since the heat source is inefficient. 

However, they are easier and cheaper to install, so you need to weigh your options and decide which one will be worth the investment in the long run. 

Installation and purchasing cost of electric radiant heat only adds up to $8-$15 per square foot.

6. Solar Heating

Solar heating is a more renewable and environmentally-friendly energy source that you can incorporate into your heating system.

They use the thermal energy from the sun to heat water which is delivered to your home through a boiler or heat pump. Solar heating is usually just a part of an entire heating system, usually aided by other heating machines to be effective.

Solar heating installation would cost $3,500-$6,000. 

7. Space Heating

Woman reading book in living room, focus on electric fan heater

Space heaters use infrared or convection to distribute heat around one area of your home. Although they are easier to operate, you can't use them to heat large spaces. 

Space heaters are an effective and affordable option for small rooms and apartments. You can also use them for emergencies since they can be used immediately--no installations are required.

However, as convenient as they may be, space heaters require attention so you won't really be able to fully relax in the warmth. You need to be alert about its temperature since you don't want it to catch fire from overheating.

Space heaters cost between $35 to $700 depending on the wattage and quality. 

8. Water Heater

Water heaters are essential to ensure more comfortable cooking, washing, and bathing experiences. 

There are many types of water heaters that affect your home's energy efficiency. For example, conventional storage-tank heaters have a lower price point for their effective performance, making them popular among many households. 

They maintain their efficiency during unpredictable weather patterns, and even if the power goes out because of storm signals, you can still have access to hot water since they are gas-powered. 

On the other hand, heat pumps or hybrid water heaters only work efficiently during mild weather conditioners. They are more expensive and challenging to install, and they require specific spacial conditions to perform well.

However, they consume less energy than storage-tank heaters, resulting in lower utility costs.  

The average cost of water heaters runs from $300-$2,000 per unit. 

9. Gravity Air Furnace

Gravity air furnaces are exactly that--they use gravity to move heated air from one room to another. This heating system utilizes the behavior of heat to distribute it around the home. Since hot air rises, the furnace located in the basement produces heated air which naturally draws upward to the vents where hot air can vent out. 

However, these heating systems are rarely comfortable since cold air will eventually come down on your walls, resulting in uneven and inconsistent temperatures. 

This system is highly inefficient, so you need to replace them with more modern heating systems, which usually cost $9,000. 

10. Electric Resistance Heating

This type of heating system is generally reliant on electricity which is supplemented by conductors with high resistance. There are four types of electric resistant heating, namely: electric furnaces, baseboard heaters, wall heaters, and thermal storage. 

Baseboard heaters enclose their heating elements in metal pipes that are connected to a central heating system. Electric wall heaters, on the other hand, whose electric heater is imbued on a reflector in the wall. 

The installation cost for this heating system would cost you $2,000-$2,500.

11. Fireplaces

Fireplaces usually burn fuels such as gas and biofuel, but some also run on electricity which is considered a safer alternative.

Wood-burning fireplaces cost around $1,900-$5,600, while electric fireplaces are relatively more affordable, costing around $100-$2,200.

Labor and installation would cost you 50% of the cost. 

Final Thoughts

floor heating system, the collector, the battery

Having a heating system is essential to creating a comfortable home.

The efficiency of your system will affect your daily routine and productivity, so make sure you choose one that will elevate your experience even during harsh weather patterns. 

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