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Heat Systems

A house, no matter how great, is not complete without a comfortable heating system. A house's heating system is an important part of a house's design and should provide efficient, comfortable heat. There are a number of heating systems available which follows.

Forced Air Heating

This heating system supplies warm air from a fuel burning unit or furnace that is forced through a duct system by a blower, distributing the heat throughout a house or structure. A furnace uses the duct system to both draw the colder air from individual rooms, heat the air and redistribute the heated air back to these same rooms. Air flows through an air filter before it comes back into the furnace from the return duct, because of that, most of the fugitive air borne dirt and dust is filtered out to protect the furnace from any damage to its working parts.

The forced air systems are very versatile; through the same distribution system the air could be heated, cooled, humidified, filtered and circulated. It is also quick to respond via the thermostat to temperature changes. A forced air unit requires a very low frequency and simple maintenance. It is not expensive to install a forced air heating system. In addition to that, it doesn't require a lot of space. However, there are some disadvantages to this system, some of the by products of combustion can come out through the registers. The movement of air in a room can be uncomfortable if the duct system has not been properly designed, or the blower motor is too large.

The important points to consider with a forced air heating unit, quiet operation, increased air circulation, more consistent house temperatures, improve indoor air quality.

Electrical Heating Units

An electrical heating system uses electricity as the heat source, and currently it is a less popular heating system than forced air. Basically, electricity is converted to heat, when it moves through conductor which become hot and give off heat. The heat is distributed by base board heaters and is one of the simplest and least expensive heating systems to install. It is silent and is cost efficient, requiring minimal maintenance. Drawbacks include in times of low humidity, humidification is usually necessary because the electric heat is a very dry heat and the electrical heating parts become hot and can create a danger to children. Cost efficiency will depend on the electric rates of your electrical utility supplier.

Heat Pumps

There are two basic types of heat pumps, air to air, and geothermal. They both function as central air conditioners.

a) Air Source Heat Pumps

The units use air to deliver both heat and coolness, the most popular is the split system heat pump, the major part of it is located outdoors, another fan and heat exchanger coil is located inside the house. The air source heat pump heats the home during cold times by pumping a refrigerant through piping system that absorbs heat from the outside air. During times of hot weather, the heat pump refrigerant absorbs heat from the inside air and then pumps it through the outside piping where the heat is released outside of the home.

This unit is fairly quiet, operates cleanly, and is very safe. But in extreme cold weather, supplemental heating may be needed.

b) Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps provide an efficient heating and cooling option throughout any season. These units provide heat transfer solutions which travel through buried piping, use the natural thermal mass of the earth to withdraw heat in a time of cold weather, and transfer heat into cold air during hot weather. A geothermal heat pump does not create heat, but rather moves it from inside out or outside in. It is recommended that a backup electric resistance heating a warm air furnace should be in place as a back up system.

Radiant Floor Heating Systems

The radiant floor heating provides heating through the floor. It is a cost-effective, quiet system which provides heat by warm water piping, or electric wiring floor panels. Often ceramic tile is used in tandem with radiant heating systems. These systems are not visible, energy-efficient, and does not dry out the air like forced air systems. In Canada they are used in conjunction with other heating systems, as well, maintenance on the system's electrical panels or piping could be very costly.

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