If you're building or renovating a house, you'll need to decide on the type of heating system you want in it. There are a few options in residential heating, so you don't necessarily have to go with a forced air furnace, although furnaces are a popular choice. Here's a look at some home heating options you have.
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant floor heating is a good choice if you want to warm up the floors in your home. If you plan to put in concrete or stone floors, a radiant floor heating system will keep them from being chilly in the winter. Stone holds and transfers heat well, so your entire floor is like a huge heater that warms the room from the bottom up. Electricity or hot water power these systems.
While you can't heat your entire home with a fireplace unless you have a small cabin, a gas fireplace is an excellent form of heat for the living or family room. Gas heat is much easier to control than heat from a wood fire, and a gas fireplace is much more convenient to operate. You won't have to gather wood, and you can turn the fireplace on with a remote control.
Forced Air Furnace
You can choose a gas or electric furnace for your home that heats your house by blowing warm air through ducts. Models sold today are energy-efficient, and they often share an air handler and ducts with a central air conditioning system which helps control costs. A furnace could be the best choice if you want a reliable form of residential heating that you are familiar with.
Steam and hot water can be used to heat a home in different ways. You might install water heaters along the baseboards in your home, or you might install a steam radiator. Radiators were once very common and are still found in older homes. Radiators and water heaters are powered by a boiler that operates on gas or electricity.
When you choose a new heating system for your home, you must first choose if you want to power it with gas or electricity. Then, you can compare the pros and cons of heating with forced air against heating with a radiant system. Also, don't forget about the ducts you'll need for a traditional furnace. If you're renovating, you may decide using a ductless method is a better choice for the best utilization of space.