Not too long ago, homeowners had one of two choices for heating systems: a furnace or a boiler. These days, thanks to advancements in the industry and in product development, there are a number of choices available for home heating. So what’s the best option for you? Your first step for any new heating installation in Portland should be to work with an expert from start to finish; your second step should be to understand what your choices are and how each works, so you can get a good idea of what systems will work best with your home. Here are some of the choices available from Imagine Energy:
Furnaces are the heating systems in about 60% of homes across the US. There are two main types of furnaces, gas and electric (although furnaces can also be powered by propane and oil), and both types require ductwork to deliver the warm air. Furnaces can be very energy efficient, with some high-efficiency models having ratings up to 98%, and gas is clean-burning and convenient for those with access to a gas line.
Boilers are part of a hydronic system, which means they heat your home with hot water or steam from the hot water. Boiler systems can be used with radiant heating, radiators and baseboard outlets, and they can be fueled with gas, oil and solid fuel such as wood pellets. Boilers can have efficiency ratings over 90% and can be good systems for allergy sufferers.
Heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling, and work by transferring heat from one location to another. As such, they do not use any fossil fuels for power – just a small amount of electricity. Heat pumps are highly energy efficient and can be used with ductless or ducted systems.
Radiant heating works by heating surfaces and allowing the heated surface to radiate the heat outward. There are two types of radiant heating, hydronic and electric, which can be installed into your floors, your ceilings or your walls. A hydronic radiant system will require a boiler.
Geothermal systems harness the latent solar heat from the ground or from water below the frost line to heat your home. Using a loop that is filled with a heat-absorbing fluid, typically an environmentally-friendly anti-freeze, the heat is transferred to a heat pump and then dispersed into your home. To cool your home, the opposite happens. Geothermal systems are the most energy efficient systems available and have a very long lifespan of up to 50 years.
Solar heating can be broken down into two types: use of photovoltaic panels (PV) that help to significantly reduce the cost of the electrical power that is used to heat your home, or the use of heat-absorbing fluid that is circulated into your home and used for radiant heating. Solar heating is very energy efficient and uses a renewable and sustainable source in the form of sunlight.
As you can see, there are a number of choices available for a new heating installation for your home. Call the experts at Imagine Energy today and schedule an appointment.