During the winter season, our days are shorter, and the nights get long and cold. The good thing about winter is also the bad thing about it—the cold weather. People love cool temperatures because it boosts the brain, burns calories, and improves our sleep. But harsh, cold conditions are another thing entirely. Luckily, technological innovations gave birth to home heating systems.
Heating systems provide heat and warmth to your house during the frigid weather. It lets you enjoy the comfort of a climate-controlled home and supplies you with quality air to breathe. There are several types of heating systems such as furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers. It will depend on the infrastructure and your preference.
Most of the households in the Midwest use a furnace to act as their central heating system. This idea has been around since the Roman era (read more). Back then, they would build an under-the-floor heating structure by creating a fire fueled by wood or coal at one corner of their stone basement.
How does it work?
Have you ever wondered how heating procedure provide you with a warm 60-degree temperature during ice-cold winters?
Furnaces differ in the way they operate depending on their type. But, all of them work with the same principle of forced air heating.
First, the burner ignites the system’s fuel. The flames formed will then heat a metal heat exchanger. The exchanger will then transfer the heat into the air. Then, a blower fan will send the heated air into a ductwork structure responsible for distributing it all over your house.
The cold air that once filled the rooms will be forced into the furnace by the return ducts. Combustion products are expelled via the flue pipe. Then the basic heating process will resume again.
Types of furnaces
Furnaces are the usual go-to of an average household due to its high efficiency and low cost. It is also easy to maintain; it is flexible and has a long lifespan. Before buying it, make sure to know what kind suits your home and your needs. For instance, there are several options from Woodmaster furnaces to choose from when you visit their website. Same goes with other stores you can check out online so be sure to browse through various models before making your final choice.
Here are several types of the popular heater and how they differ with each other.
- Gas-Powered – This system uses natural gas as its fuel. It is the most popular one because it is affordable and energy-efficient. It has an average of 88 to 98 percent efficiency according to the AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
- Oil Furnace – This is usually seen in the northeastern part of the US. It utilizes oil and converts it into heat. This is a good choice for people without access to natural gas pipelines. This heating procedure is only eighty percent efficient. 20% of its fuel is vented out through the exhaust.
- Electric-powered – This is cheaper and much smaller than other types of heating systems. But, it has a low energy efficiency compared to other furnaces.
- Modulating furnace – They are a bit expensive, but they are great energy and money savers. Unlike other heating systems, they run steadily while consuming energy at low levels. It is also more accurate at reaching the target temperature conditioned by the thermostat.
Things to consider in buying a furnace
1. The system type
Determine whether you want a split or a packaged system. The split method has a large component unit. It is made up of a compressor and condenser inside an outdoor cabinet, an indoor cabinet that houses the evaporator coil, and an air handler.
If you do not have that much space, you can opt for the packaged method. It has both heating and cooling components in an outdoor cabinet unit.
2. Energy efficiency
For practical and economic reasons, consider a furnace’s fuel source because it dictates its efficiency when it comes to energy. You do not want to buy a heating system that only converts thirty percent of its fuel to actual heat.
3. Zoning system
The geographical location and construction of your home have a bearing in the heat distribution on the different parts of your house. It means that there are rooms that can get hotter or colder than the other ones.
Knowing the zoning procedure helps you strategically place the thermostats around your house to achieve an even temperature throughout your home. It also helps in conserving energy.
4. Size matters
Before going furnace shopping, you need an expert or a contractor to make the correct size measurement of your house. This helps you to know what furnace size is compatible with your home. Aside from installation purposes, an appropriately sized heating system will give you the precise amount of comfort that you need.
No matter what kind of furnace you choose to buy, always remember that it needs proper maintenance to properly deliver a quality service.