Summer has officially come to an end, which means this is a great time to start prepping your home for those cold winter nights – they’ll be here before you know it! That said, there are quite a few different home heating options out there for homeowners to choose from, and settling on the right one can feel like a tall task.

At Airbusters, we believe that knowledge is power. It’s a lot easier to choose a heating method that works for your household when you’re fully informed about all of the choices available to you.

For over 15 years, we have provided expert HVAC services to residents in the Nashville area. We handle installations, general maintenance, and repairs to keep your home as comfortable as possible all year long. Give us a call at 615-551-5534 or schedule an appointment on our website now.

What Are the Most Common Types of Home Heating Systems?

a small dog in a dark orange blanket next to a heaterUnfortunately, there isn’t a perfect home heating method out there. Each system has its benefits and drawbacks, and the decision should come down to which option is best suited to meet the needs of your home. Your decision could be influenced by the space availability in your home, a seasonal budget you’d like to stick to, or concerns over how the heating system will impact the environment. These are all factors that will change depending on the household. 

That said, there are some common heating options that we see in homes. 

Forced-Air Furnace

One of the most popular options in home heating is a forced-air furnace. It works by heating air, then distributing it across your house through a network of ductwork and vents. Natural gas, propane, electricity, and oil are the most frequently used fuel sources for furnaces. 

  • Pros: Forced-air furnaces are extremely efficient and provide even heating throughout the home. You also don’t need a separate system for air conditioning when the weather changes. 
  • Cons: You need an up-to-date ductwork system for a forced-air furnace. If you don’t already have ductwork in place, you will need to install some. This can be a costly upfront expense, but it could prove to be a good investment with the money you could potentially save in energy expenses due to the efficiency of a forced-air furnace. 

Is a forced-air furnace the same as central heating?

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are different. The simplest way to break it down is that central heating is a broader term that refers to any heating system in which heat is generated in one central location and circulated through a home. A forced-air furnace is a type of central heating system. 

Boiler System

Boiler systems, also called hydronic heating systems, use hot water or steam to heat your home. This heat is spread through radiators, baseboards, or in-floor heating systems. You can use propane, natural gas, oil, or electricity as fuel with a boiler.

  • Pros: A boiler system would give you the ability to control the temperature of different areas or rooms independently. If you have folks in your family who are picky about the temperature, a boiler could be a good way to maintain the peace. Many boilers can be integrated with your hot water supply so you can get heating and hot water from a single setup. 
  • Cons: Installing a boiler system is typically more expensive than other heating options. You have to factor in the cost of the boiler itself, radiators or in-floor heating components, and the piping needed for it to heat the home properly. Boilers also require regular inspections, cleanings, and other maintenance work.

Heat Pump

There are two types of heat pumps: air-source and ground-source. Air-source heat pumps are the most common. They operate by drawing heat from the outdoor air and redirecting it throughout the home. Ground-source heat pumps rely on heat from the ground or a body of water. 

  • Pros: Heat pumps are known for their energy efficiency. Since they work by moving heat instead of generating it, they’re a good option for the environmentally-conscious homeowner.  
  • Cons: Heat pumps struggle in extremely cold temperatures. It’s rare for temperatures to dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit here in Nashville, but a sudden cold front could leave you in a vulnerable situation.

Electric Baseboard Heaters

a baseboard heater running along the corner of two wallsElectric baseboard heaters are a very popular choice in modern homes. They function by converting electrical energy into heat and distributing it directly into a room. 

  • Pros: Electric baseboard heaters are easy to set up compared to other heating options. They don’t require ductwork, so they’re a more budget-friendly option if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on installing ductwork. 
  • Cons: Electric baseboard heaters aren’t a good option as the primary source of heating. If you have a large home or your house has a lot of open space, you’d need multiple units to heat your home sufficiently. 

Wood or Pellet Stove

Wood-burning or pellet stoves use wood or compressed wood pellets as a fuel source to create heat. Pellet stoves typically give off less heat than wood stoves.

  • Pros: Wood is a renewable fuel source that could reduce your energy bills. A fireplace or a stove is a way to add character and ambiance to your home. 
  • Cons: You would need consistent access to seasoned firewood for a wood or pellet stove. Burning wood produces smoke and toxins, so a chimney or ventilation system would have to be installed to meet safety requirements. 

Winter Is Coming – Be Prepared

It feels like fall has just arrived, but you may find yourself out in the cold if you don’t take this time to get ready for winter. Our team of experts is on hand to take care of all of your HVAC needs. Schedule an appointment with us on our website and call us at 615-551-5534 today. Let Airbusters remove one item from your to-do list.