Types of Heaters

Every home needs a good heater. Even in the mild parts of Texas, things get cold. In northern Texas, we understand that winter comes more than just once every 20 years. So when you want to heat your home, you need access to good options that are affordable and effective.

To help you choose the right heating system for your home (or business), we have broken down the most common types of heaters. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and when you understand everything at play, you can make a solid decision.

Furnace

Furnace heaters are by far the most common in Texas. This is where a gas or electric heating unit (they can also use oil, but that’s rare) warms air that is distributed through ducts. They can run on the same fan and air filter as the air conditioner. Since the central system distributes heat throughout the house, a single thermostat controls the system for the whole building.

Modern thermostats can use heat sensors in multiple rooms to adjust control, but it’s still one fan and one furnace. Furnaces are the easiest to install and use. They often cost less than the other options on the list, but they suffer in terms of efficiency.

Boiler

Boilers are much more common in apartment buildings in cold climates. They are less common in Texas, but they’re still sometimes used. Boilers send hot water through pipes throughout the building. Typically, each room will have a radiator where the piping delivers that heat.

Since the pipes are controlled by valves, you can create heating zones and have more control over how much heat is delivered and when. The temperate zones are ideal for multi-family buildings — especially since boilers are expensive to install and run. That said, they provide some of the most powerful heating of any of these systems.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are becoming extremely common throughout Texas. They thrive in mildly cool climates. The heat pump can both cool and heat the home. The same process that pumps heat out of the air for an air conditioner can essentially be reversed to heat a home in cold weather. The downfall of heat pumps is that they stop working when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing.

That’s why heat pumps are often part of a hybrid system. The heat pump is more efficient than a traditional furnace, so the pump handles heating anytime the weather allows. When a cold front moves in, the furnace provides extra heating power as needed.

Ductless Systems

Often called mini splits, these systems have small units that serve single rooms. More specifically, those small units connect to the main compressor outside. Because part of the heating and cooling process is performed by each of the individual units, mini splits can have completely different climate control for each room. They tend to be more efficient as a result, and they are great for large homes and homes that don’t have existing ductwork.

In essence, mini splits are a hybridized heat pump system with more precise control and even better efficiency. They cost more to install than central units, and because of that, they tend to be more popular for large, single-family homes.

Radiant Flooring

Technically, radiant flooring is a boiler system, but the concept is refined enough to merit its own entry on this list. This new take on boiler heating runs the boiler pipes through the floor in an integrated system. You don’t see the pipes at all, but when running, they heat the room from the floor up.

Since hot air tends to rise, you can see the advantage of heating a room in this way. More importantly, radiant flooring keeps the floors warm. This is ideal for maximum comfort, as cold flooring is often hard to overcome with even the most powerful central heating systems. Radiant flooring is considered a luxury design, and as you can imagine, it is not a cheap option. That said, it probably yields a more comfortable heating experience than anything else on this list.
In all, you have plenty of ways to stay warm every winter. You can look into gas or electric heating. You can centralize it or increase your climate zones. You can also hybridize these systems to try to get the best of every world. When you are ready to pick and install your heating system, contact Metro Express Service Carrollton. We’ll make sure you understand all of your options, and then we will professionally install whatever system you choose.