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Home heating systems are inseparable parts of our modern home structures. These systems come in
handy especially during chilly winters, keeping us warm and active inside our homes after a busy day
outdoors. As significant as they are, it is important to point out that choosing the best home heating
system has never been a walk in the park, especially due to the mixed opinion out there on which
system performs the best. If you are out there trying to shop for a home heating system but are in this
dilemma, this article is for you. The detailed guide on how to compare home heating systems will help
you make an informed purchase decision, especially seeing as how these systems are pretty costly and
you wouldn't want to get it wrong the first time.
A Brief Look At The Systems
In order to compare home heating systems, it is imperative we begin by understanding what these
systems are and the options available out there. The following are the major home heating systems you
are likely to encounter in the market today.
Forced Air: Considered the most common home heating system, forced air utilizes a furnace that heats
air before blowing it throughout your home by use of registers and ducts.
Wood-Burning Stoves: In this system, a wood stove is used to burn materials such as agricultural
wastes, compacted sawdust and special wood pellets. The heat that emanates from the stove then
seamlessly heats up your home.
Boilers: For these home heating systems, hot water is heated and then channeled through radiators and
in the process, helps to heat your home.
Radiant Flooring: This may be considered as one of the most technologically advanced methods of
home heating. In this system, the home is heated through the tubes that are installed into the floors.
These tubes get their heat through hot water that is allowed to flow through them. They then heat the
floor which consequently heats the entire home, thus providing the much-needed warmth.
Comparing Home Heating Systems Based on Fuel Consumption: When choosing your home heating
system, it is essential to consider its source of fuel. Identifying the type of fuel of your home heating
system is imperative to calculate costs and manage its sustainability. Moreover, determining the fuel of
each system is essential since there are certain types of fuel that might not be available in your location.
Regarding fuel cost, the fuel of wood-burning stoves is the cheapest. As the name implies, wood-burning
stoves run on wood, and wood is less expensive than oil or electricity. You may cut fuel costs of wood-
burning stoves to 100% if you choose to chop your own in your backyard. However, that may only be
convenient if you live in a rural or forested area.
The next cost-efficient type of fuel is heating oil and water, which boilers and radiant flooring use.
However, radiant flooring is known to be more efficient and controllable than boilers. The forced air
type of heating system ranks the last in term of cost-efficient fuel as it runs on electricity. Depending on
your location, electricity may be the most expensive type of available fuel.
Based on Maintenance: Maintenance is also a huge factor when it comes to healing systems. Due to the
nature of work, we may not always be there to check on the status of our heating systems. That is why a
heating system that is low maintenance and can run without human assistance is best in that
Radiant flooring may be the best choice regarding maintenance. Not only are these radiant floorings
durable, but they can also efficiently conserve heat; thus, reducing energy consumption by 50%. The
next best option for radiant flooring is boilers. Like radiant flooring, they are useful for maintaining heat
and reducing heating energy consumption.
Forced air systems are the third best option because using this type of system needs strict vigilance on
the ducts. If the pipes inside your home are damaged, the hot air may leak, which may cause air
imbalance. Air imbalances may incur you some additional costs, low comfort levels, and bad air quality
around your home.
The least low maintenance heating system is the wood-burning stove. To keep it functioning, you will
need to keep a close eye on the fire inside the furnace. At times, you might need to add more fuel to the
fire or chop more wood for fuel. It will be a time-consuming task to maintain wood-burning stoves, so
this is not recommended for those who are always busy.
Based on Installation: Installing heating systems are incredibly dependent on your type of home. It is
best to know the ease and requirements of establishing each heating systems to identify the costs and
Out of all these heating systems, wood-burning stoves are the easiest to install. You will only need to
install a furnace in one part of your home for this type of healing system. The next most natural heating
system to install are boilers and forced air heating systems.
For boilers and forced air heating systems, a ductwork will be installed around your home. The ductwork
will act as passages for hot air to go around your house; thus, heating it. Although installing ductwork
may be expensive, this will ensure that warm air is passing through the rooms where it is needed.
Radiant flooring is the most difficult heating system to install. Radiant flooring is not only expensive to
establish but needs an experienced designer or installer. This professional will plan the installation of
your radiant floor system to ensure that it will work efficiently in your home. Also, some carpets and
floor finishing will not be allowed in your home to accommodate the heating system.
Based on the Effect on the Environment: With the advent of global warming, it is imperative to know
the environmental impacts, hazards, and safety of using each heating system.
Environmentally friendly heating system choices are radiant flooring, boilers, and forced air systems.
These systems rely on safe sources of fuel like oil and electricity; thereby, leaving a less harmful impact
on the environment. On the other hand, wood-burning stoves are the least environmentally friendly
choice among all the heating systems.
Since wood-burning stoves use combustion, they are known to diminish the air quality around your
home. If they are not carefully controlled, wood-burning stoves may cause fires or explosion. Studies
have found that using wood-burning stoves can release a gas known as carbon monoxide, which is
deadly when inhaled.