Best Heating System for Your Home

Woman Thinking

Selecting a heating system for your home can be daunting with so many options available. Let's look at some common home heating system options. Examining their advantages and disadvantages can make your decision easier to make.


Furnaces are forced-air heating systems that can run on natural gas, oil, or electricity. They draw air into the system, heat it up, and blow it out through vents to heat the home. Today's furnaces are far more efficient than those of a couple of decades ago.

The standard rating for furnaces is AFUE, which stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It measures how efficiently the furnace uses its fuel. The minimum AFUE rating for furnaces produced today is 80%. That means the furnace uses 80% of its fuel for heating the home, while losing 20% up the flue. The higher the percentage, the more efficient the furnace is.

Furnaces are widely available and more efficient than before. The disadvantages to a furnace is that it needs ducts. If the HVAC system uses natural gas, there's a small chance it could have a dangerous leak.

Boilers and Radiant Heating

Boilers heat water using gas, electricity, or propane. The system circulates the hot water to radiators, baseboard heaters, or radiant floor systems. Heat radiates out, warming the home's air.

The cost of a boiler system is usually higher than the cost of installing a furnace. However, it is just as efficient as a furnace. In addition, because it doesn't use air to spread the heat, it doesn't circulate allergens throughout the house.

Boilers and radiant heat is very energy efficient, good for those with allergies, can be controlled in each room, and requires less space than ductwork. The downside to boilers are the upfront costs, plus the fact that you need a separate AC unit.

Heat Pumps

During winter, heat pumps use a refrigerant to absorb heat from the outside, bringing it inside where it heats the air. An air handler distributes the heated air using a blower fan through ductwork. In summer, the heat pump can cool the air by reversing the process, absorbing heat inside and taking it outside.

A heat pump can be more expensive to install than a furnace or boiler system. However, it is an energy efficient HVAC option for those living in temperate climates.

Heat pumps can be used year round, handling both heating and cooling. They are highly efficient when it comes to cooling and moderate heating. The downside to heat pumps is that they are not efficient when handling below freezing temperatures.

Call TDI Air Conditioning to talk with an HVAC professional to determine which heating system is best for your home.