Residential heating and cooling systems use different methods to bring heat into the home, or to channel it outside. Some systems, such as furnaces, create their own heat using gas or electricity. Other systems, such as air conditioners, only use a refrigerant gas to absorb heat from the home and move it outside. If you are looking for a reliable residential heating system, then focus on energy-saving features of potential models and keep in mind the requirements of your home.
The most energy-efficient systems are transference systems that move heat rather than create it. Air conditioners do this automatically, but a heat pump is even better. Heat pumps can switch from pulling warmth from outside in, to removing warmth inside the house by pulling it out. Heat pumps have a high starting cost and do not work well in cold climates.
Gas furnaces do not move heat, but create their own by burning natural gas or propane, which is used if there are no natural gas lines anywhere in the vicinity. If your climate is too cold to consider using a heat pump, then try to find an affordable gas furnace. Gas does not burn as efficiently as other fuels, but it is far less expensive than electric heating elements and is more maintenance-free than traditional oil furnaces.
Correctly Sized Systems
Heating and cooling systems are designed for different sizes of buildings, rated for a certain range of cubic feet. If you get a system that is too small, it will need to run too long, costing you money and maintenance fees. A too-large system will stop and start frequently, leading to the same issues. Consult an electrician or heating specialist to calculate what size is best for your house.
Radiant systems use infrared technology to heat rooms. There are two types of radiant systems: insulated wire and hot water piping. The hot water version must be installed the same time the floor is, but the wire versions are more flexible. Radiant heating does not move air around, making it ideal if you suffer from allergies. Water-based versions are also cost-efficient.
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