What Heating System Should You Get for Your Fresno Home?
In the majority of U.S. homes, heating is the largest single component of home energy consumption. Different home heating systems have a significant impact on energy costs and comfort — choosing the right one for your home can pay long-term dividends in terms of those factors. If you are spending a lot of money on maintaining an outdated system, then it is time to consider hiring a Fresno heating contractor and install a more efficient and comfortable solution.
Determining what’s best to install for your home requires a good understanding of the processes and technology behind these systems, as well as their efficiency ratings and long-term costs.
Factors to Keep in Mind
There are several factors to consider when selecting a new home heating system to install:
Heating systems are powered in a variety of ways, such as electricity, gas, propane, or coal — each with its pros and cons. Using electricity is the most convenient but has the potential to be the most costly. Natural gas is considered to be the most common fuel for space heaters in most parts of the country, but many homeowners resort to oil or coal in places where it isn’t readily available.
It is important to consult a qualified HVAC contractor before deciding on a fuel type to help determine which options are readily available in your area and their relative cost.
Considering the area of your house is a crucial step when you want to achieve the ideal temperature for maximum comfort. You may also want to check the overall structure and condition of your walls and ceilings, as well as the type of insulation used. Houses that have thin walls and poor insulation are prone to significant heat loss and will require a more powerful system than conventional ones.
One of the most important factors to consider is the efficiency of the system. The higher the efficiency, the lower the cost of operation. Even a relatively small difference in annual energy costs will add up over the life of the system
The standard efficiency ratings for home heating systems are the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), which is used for natural gas, propane, and fuel oil systems, and HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor), which is used for electrical heat pumps.
Both AFUE and HSPF are seasonal efficiency measures that take into account both normal operating losses and variations in outdoor temperature.
The intensity of the cold weather at your location may have an impact on the type of heating system you need to install. The colder the temperature, the more heat that needs to be generated by your system.
When comparing the costs of different systems, be sure to consider not only the initial costs but also the long-term costs of operating and maintaining the system. A qualified heat contractor should be able to provide all the necessary services to keep your system running smoothly.
Home Heating Systems Options
Home heating systems can be classified into three main categories:
Central Heating Systems
These systems provide warmth to the entire interior of your home, even spanning across multiple rooms. Heat is generated through a central heat source located in a different area of your home, such as a basement or attic. The heat generated then spreads across the house through a network of ducts or pipes.
There are three types of central heating systems:
- Heat Pumps
Furnaces use gas, electricity, or fuel oil to heat air in one area and distribute it throughout the house via a web of ductwork and vents.
Furnaces work by blowing heated air through ducts that deliver the warm air to rooms throughout the house via air registers or grills.
Furnaces blow heated air through ducts and distribute it throughout a house or building via a web of vents or grills. They can be classified according to the fuel sources they use: such as gas, oil, electricity, and propane.
Natural Gas Furnaces
Highly cost-effective and economical, gas furnaces are considered to be the most popular way Americans heat their homes. With the help of a burner, the gas ignites to generate hot combustion gas that increases the temperature of the air. Heated air is then circulated through the ductwork and the vents.
These types of furnaces convert oil to heat and are commonly used in cold environments like the northeastern United States. They are not as efficient as gas furnaces but are relatively cheaper to purchase.
Considered to be the most inexpensive type of furnace, electric furnaces are also easier to install and typically last years longer. However, since electricity is more expensive than gas, you will offset the cost with your monthly energy bill.
Propane furnaces are ideal where other fuels are scarce, expensive, or can’t be delivered, such as in rural areas. They are also ideal for smaller applications such as recreational properties, mobile units, and tiny homes.
Boilers are special-purpose water heaters. This system uses a fuel source to heat a liquid — usually water or glycol — and delivers the heat throughout your home through radiators, in-floor loops, etc. The liquid is then reheated in the boiler after running its course, and the process continues.
A boiler also doubles up as your home’s water heater, providing hot water for your kitchen, bathrooms, and clothes washing.
Heat pumps can provide seasonal climate control throughout the year. They do not create heat — instead, they redistribute heat from the air or the ground. When in cooling mode a heat pump absorbs heat inside your home and releases it outdoors, while in heating mode the heat pump absorbs heat from the ground or air and releases it indoors.
Direct Heating Systems
The direct heating system is a simple way to heat a small area directly from a heat source. It is often considered to be a form of supplemental heat, and is more renowned for its portability and availability.
There are a variety of direct heating systems. Namely:
Gas-fired Space Heaters
Gas-fired space heaters are portable heaters that can be either wall-mounted or stand-alone. They are cost-effective and can be powered by several means, such as propane, natural gas, or kerosene. They are operated by hand and have fewer safety hazards than unvented gas-fired heaters.
Unvented Gas-fired Space Heaters
As the name indicates — there are no vents in unvented gas heaters. They are extremely dangerous, yet despite that, these conventional heaters have been used and sold throughout the decades. Due to safety hazards and health risks, professionals highly discourage the use of these heaters.
Electric Space Heaters
Electric Space Heaters are a cheap and inefficient way to provide direct heat. They work by expelling hot air through a fan, which naturally rises and forces cooler air to the floor. This process helps to effectively circulate the heat and warm up the area.
Ductless Heating Systems
Also known as a heat pump, this system is an excellent alternative to central heating systems. It is extremely cost-efficient, affordable, and can be easily installed in less than a day by professionals. A ductless heat pump works, like conventional heat pumps, by taking warm air from one location and moving it to another. It consists of both an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor unit.
Get the Perfect Fit for Your Fresno Home’s Heat!
Choosing the right home heating system requires both awareness of your options and a meticulous survey of your living space. The perfect compromise of cost and comfort can be achieved with cautious consideration of your options to avoid unnecessary expenses and have peace of mind.
Contact our experts from Marthedal Solar, Air & Heating to help you find that perfect fit for your home’s heat.
Check out our blog about the 5 Important Aspects of Proper Furnace Installation here.