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12 Types of Home Heating Ideas and Their Uses

A home can be heated through various systems. In most cases, this includes blowing hot air through ducts which is then distributed throughout your home. That said, there are many ways of heating a space and in controlling temperature in a home.

Here are the twelve different types of home heating ideas for your house

Type #1: Furnace Heating

Furnaces is a popular type of heating that most Canadian households use. Also called ducted warm-air or forced warm-air, they are divided according to electric, natural gas, or fuel oil. Furnaces are commonly installed in homes during the winter season. This type of home heating is user-friendly, low-maintenance, and very effective.

Type #2: Electric Furnace Heating

An electric furnace uses electric heating elements – as opposed to gas burners – to create heat. They’re comparable to a very large hair dryer. The same technology is used. Air is pulled into a system where it’s heated and then pushed out through the ductwork.

Type #3: Natural Gas Furnace Heating

A natural gas furnace uses a pilot light to ignite the gas which then heats the burners. The heat transfers to the air and raises the temperature to a designated temperature before being sent elsewhere in the room.

A natural gas furniture and fuel oil furnace work similarly. Both types of home heating require sources of fuel to function.

Type #4: Fuel Oil Furnace Heating

A fuel oil furnace mixes fuel with air and burns it. A metal heat exchanger is heated and the temperature is transferred to air which then gets pushed out through a furnace fan. The combustion products are also vented out through a pipe.

Type #5: Boiler Heating

Boilers distribute heat through hot water as it passes through various radiators and devices in spaces throughout a home. As the water cools, it is returned to the boiler, reheated, and sent back out.

Boilers generally use either natural gas or heating oil for fuel. A boiler does not use a duct system. Instead, a pump is used to circulate the hot water through pipes and tubing to radiators.

Type #6: Heat Pumps

Heat pumps is essentially the opposite of an air conditioner. In summer, AC units move heat from indoors to outdoors. In winter, the heat pump reverses this process and generates heat from outdoors before discharging it inside a home.

Heat pumps are divided into two categories – air-source heat pumps and ground-source heat pumps which use heat from underground. This type of home heating is considered one of the more eco-friendly and less resource-heavy available.

Type #7: Gas-Based Space Heating

A space heater is designed to heat a single room. Using gas, heat is created and then fills the room. There is no ductwork involved so the heat isn’t able to move outside this space. This is advantageous, however, as space heaters are portable and range from free-standing to mountable versions.

If you’re in a home with large temperature differences between rooms, utilizing gas-fired space heaters makes sense. They most often use natural gas, propane, or kerosene.

Type #8: Electric Space Heating

Electric space heaters, the alternative to fuel-based designs, simply plug in and convert the current into heat. It works just like a toaster or clothes iron. Though inexpensive, an electric space heater only heats a single room and is very expensive to operate in comparison with space heaters using gas.

Furthermore, your average 1,500-watt electric space heater will use the capacity of a 15-amp branch circuit, guaranteed to trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse if additional appliances or major electricity sources are being used.

Type #9: Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces make sense in rural areas. Wood is less expensive than gas, oil, or electricity, and has been an effective type of home heating for centuries. That said, wood pollutants are a problem. It’s not the most eco-friendly way to create heat, especially with older model fireplaces or if you’re using a wood stove. Unfortunately, many fireplaces also lose more heat than they provide.

Type #10: Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor hearing circulates warm water in tubes under flooring. Though expensive to install, radiant floor heating is considered very efficient and is easy to adjust in temperature. Using this type of heating cuts down on the floor finishes one is able to use. For example, carpet is rarely matched to radiant floor heating because of it blanketing the heat source.

Type #11: Ductless Mini-Split Heating

In this example of home heating, we remove a lot of the air ducts. Mini-splits essentially create separate HVAC zones. In each, a separate thermostat is given.

In larger homes, apartment buildings, or for add-on areas that may not have adequate heating compared to other parts of the home, ductless mini-splits can be very advantageous.

Type #12: Combined Heat-And-Power

A new type of high-efficiency home heating, CHP or ‘combined heat and power’ uses a small generator to capture the waste heat that is lost when heating a home and to recycle it into domestic hot water. Unfortunately, this type of technology is still in prototype phase and is not widely available.

That said, as we seek to lower high heating bills and produce high-efficiency heating in residential buildings, a focus on recycling the more than 70% of heat that we lose oftentimes when heating our home is needed.

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