Problems with heating systems are the second leading cause of fires in the United States. If you live in an older home that has the original furnace, use a fireplace often, or use portable heaters to provide heat in your home, you may want to consider upgrading to a new heating system. Here are a few choices that could not only save your home from a fire, but may help you save money on your energy bill.
Boiler/Water Heater Combo
A combination boiler/water heater system, often called combi boilers, provides heat for the home and for your water usage. However, it does not have a holding tank or piping like traditional boilers. It heats water as it's needed. This system uses a fan to force air over the coils of heated water in the exchanger.
Then, it sends that air into your home's heating ducts. The hot water for your showers, tubs and sinks comes from the same coils. As you use hot water, more water fills into the coils to get heated. This can give you an endless supply of hot water.
One important thing to note about this type of system is that it may need additional maintenance if the water is hard. Mineral deposit of hard water can build up inside the coils and may eventually cause them to clog up. However, this doesn't mean that you can't have a combi boiler if you have hard water. It simply means that you will need to hire a professional heating service to descale the mineral deposits from the unit.
Geothermal Heat Pump
A geothermal heat pump uses the ground to provide heat. Yes, you read that right. With this system, there are coils filled with refrigerant that are placed underground. As the liquid moves through the coils, the naturally warm earth heats the liquid. The liquid loops back around to the compressor of the heat pump unit.
At the compressor, the liquid gets compressed and this increases the temperature of the liquid. Then, a fan forces air over these coils and into the ducts of the home. As the air is forced over the coils, the refrigerant inside the coils cools down and gets looped back through the system to be heated underground again.
With this type of system, you don't need an abundant amount of land, but you do need some land. It's not possible to have a geothermal heating system in a big city. However, if you do have a small plot of land, you can have this type of system. The underground loop field can be installed vertically, yet safely away from water wells, septic tanks and the home.
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant floor heating uses a system of coils or cables that are installed underneath flooring. The coils or cables may contain heated water or may be heated by electricity, just like electric baseboard heat. There are some radiant floor heating systems that use heated air inside the coils, but this type of system isn't as efficient and, therefore, is rarely used. The type that uses water in coils, also known as hydronic, actually heats the water in a boiler unit.
To install this type of system, your flooring will need to be removed. Most types of flooring can be installed on top of this heating system. However, thick carpeting generally does not allow enough heat through to make much of a difference in the temperature of your home.
If you need to replace your heating system due to old age or you use too many portable heaters, you might as well consider calling a company like Redlands Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning and installing a different type of system that may be more energy efficient.