Types of Heating Systems

A variety of technologies are available for heating your house. In addition to heat pumps, which are discussed separately, many homes use the following approaches:

Furnaces & Boilers

By far the most common way to heat a home.

Radiant Heating

Can draw on a number of energy sources, including electricity, boilers, solar energy, and wood and pellet-fuel heating.

Small Space Heaters

Less efficient than central heating systems, but can save energy when used appropriately.

Some of Our Most Popular Furnaces

New S9X2 Furnace

The new S9X2 furnace offers two stages of gas heat for comfort in cold weather, and a CTM blower for maximum efficiency in warm weather, while maintaining the quality and reliability that Trane is known for.

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S9B1 Furnace

The S9B1 furnace helps keep you and your budget comfortable with an AFUE rating of 92% and high-quality components that Trane is known for.

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S9X1 Furnace

Our most affordable high energy efficient furnace keeps your home and budget comfortable.

  • High-efficiency rating of up to 96% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
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Boiler Systems

Authoirzed Dealers of HTP & Weil Mclain Boiler Systems

ADVANCED HEATING & HOT WATER SYSTEMS

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HEATING SYSTEM TYPES

Furnace & Boilers
Most U.S. homes are heated with either furnaces or boilers. Furnaces heat air and distribute the heated air through the house using ducts. Boilers heat water, and provide either hot water or steam for heating. Steam is distributed via pipes to steam radiators, and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor systems, or can heat air via a coil. Steam boilers operate at a higher temperature than hot water boilers, and are inherently less efficient, but high-efficiency versions of all types of furnaces and boilers are currently available.
Radiant Heating

Radiant heating systems supply heat directly to the floor or to panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. The systems depend largely on radiant heat transfer — the delivery of heat directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via infrared radiation. Radiant heating is the effect you feel when you can feel the warmth of a hot stovetop element from across the room. When radiant heating is located in the floor, it is often called radiant floor heating or simply floor heating.

Radiant heating has a number of advantages. It is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. People with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesnโ€™t distribute allergens like forced air systems can. Hydronic (liquid-based) systems use little electricity, a benefit for homes off the power grid or in areas with high electricity prices. Hydronic systems can use a wide variety of energy sources to heat the liquid, including standard gas- or oil-fired boilers, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters, or a combination of these sources.

Despite its name, radiant floor heating depends heavily on convection, the natural circulation of heat within a room as air warmed by the floor rises. Radiant floor heating systems are significantly different from the radiant panels used in walls and ceilings. For this reason, the following sections discuss radiant floor heat and radiant panels separately.

Portable Space Heaters

Small space heaters are typically used when the main heating system is inadequate or when central heating is too costly to install or operate. In some cases, small space heaters can be less expensive to use if you only want to heat one room or supplement inadequate heating in one room. They can also boost the temperature of rooms used by individuals who are sensitive to cold, especially elderly persons, without overheating your entire home.

Space heater capacities generally range between 10,000 Btu to 40,000 Btu per hour. Common fuels used for this purpose are: electricity, propane, natural gas, and kerosene (see the wood and pellet section for information on wood and pellet stoves).

Although most space heaters rely on convection (the circulation of air in a room) to heat a room, some rely on radiant heating; that is, they emit infrared radiation that directly heats up objects and people that are within their line of sight. Radiant heaters are a more efficient choice when you will be in a room for only a few hours, if you can remain within the line of sight of the heater. They can be more efficient when using a room for a short period because they avoid the energy needed to heat the entire room by instead directly heating the occupant of the room and the occupant’s immediate surroundings.

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