When it comes to heating their homes, Americans' preferences vary quite a bit. Nearly half of all Americans use natural gas to heat their home, but a little more than one-third also use electricity.
Fifteen percent of southern homes — and four percent of homes throughout the country — don't use any heaters at all!
Not ready to eschew your heating system altogether? Do you need to find a good heating system for your home?
If you're not sure which type of heater to purchase, keep reading. Listed below are some tips on how to choose the best heating system for your home.
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Types of Heating Systems
When you're shopping for a heating system for your home, one of the first things you need to think about is the type of system you want.
There are many different types of heating systems, but the following are some of the most popular options:
A furnace is one of the most common options for a home heating system.
Furnaces blow heated air through a duct system and distribute it throughout your home. A furnace is usually known as a forced-air heating system. They run on different fuel sources, but natural gas and electricity are the most popular options.
Furnaces can be highly energy efficient, especially if you install a programmable thermostat to help you control the temperature. Installing a programmable thermostat also helps to increase your home value!
A hybrid furnace is a type of furnace that works very well in climates where the temperature dips below 30-40 degrees.
Hybrid furnaces have a principal power source and an alternate power source that kicks in when the demand on the system increases.
For example, the system may run on electricity most of the time, which is the more energy efficient option. When the temperature drops too low for electricity to work efficiently, though, the system will switch over to natural gas, oil, or another fuel source.
A boiler uses natural gas, propane, or electricity to heat water.
When the water is heated (it doesn't actually boil, despite the name of the system), the boiler moves heat through the home using a radiant heat system. It may use a radiator, baseboard heaters, or panels in the walls, ceilings, or floors.
Boilers are just as energy efficient as furnaces, and they do not circulate allergens the way furnaces can.
According to this guide, heat pumps are another popular option for a home heating system.
Heat pumps use refrigerant and absorb heat from outside sources. They then use a heat exchanger to transfer that heat inside.
Heat pumps are highly energy efficient. In fact, they're more energy efficient than furnaces or boilers.
You can run them year-round, too, since they can reverse the exchange of heat and cool your home down during the summer.
Other Factors to Consider
The most important thing to think about when shopping for a heating system is the type of system you want and need for your home. There are plenty of other factors to consider, too, including the following:
There are tons of different brands of heating systems out there.
Once you decide on the type of heating system you want to purchase, you should do some research to learn about the different companies that manufacture that type of heater.
Check to see which company has the highest ratings and the fewest customer complaints.
You may have to pay a little more money for a reputable brand, but the extra costs upfront can be worth it if they minimize the number of repairs you have to pay for later on.
Think about the climate in your area, too.
If you live somewhere that doesn't get very cold, you might be able to get away with a more affordable or less efficient heater since you won't be using it very often.
If you live somewhere that gets very cold, though, you'll likely want to spend a little extra money to make sure you're getting a highly reliable, energy efficient heating system.
When it comes to shopping for a heating system, it's best not to buy the cheapest system you can find.
After all, if you buy a cheap system but have to have it repaired every winter, you might end up spending more than you would if you had just bought a slightly nicer model.
Of course, your budget still matters, though. Set a budget before you begin shopping. That way, you won't fall in love with a system that's way out of your price range.
Think about the installation requirements of a system before you purchase it, too.
If you're going to have to install ductwork or make a lot of changes to the structure of your house in order to make the heating system fit, that's going to add quite a bit of money to your final bill.
If you're working with a tight budget, try to find a system that can easily integrate with your home.
Finally, consider reaching out to an HVAC technician and asking them what they think.
A professional can let you know what type of heating system will work best for your home. They'll likely be able to recommend a high-performing, high-quality brand of heater, too.
If you're struggling to decide between two different systems, a professional opinion can serve as an excellent tie-breaker.
Time to Choose the Best Heating System!
As you can see, there are a lot of different heaters that you can choose from.
Now that you know more about the options available to you and the factors you need to consider, it's time to pick out the best heating system for your home!
Do you want to learn more about repairing or updating your home?
Whether you're interested in renovations or decor, we've got lots of helpful information available on our site. We even have articles on unique ways to heat your home!
Check out this article on the benefits of purchasing a wood burning stove for your home today.