Efficient Heating & Cooling

Efficient Heating and Cooling

Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is essential to the comfort of your home during seasons of the year with extreme temperatures. Learn about common Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, their pros and cons, and what they’re likely to cost you.

Types of Heating Systems

  • Furnace: A furnace uses a system of ducts that lead to vents all over the house used to pump warm air. The furnace may be powered by oil, natural gas or electricity. This is an efficient way to heat the entire house, and furnace ducts can also be used by central air conditioners in the summer for cooling the home.
  • Boiler: A boiler is a type of water heater. A boiler heats water to a predetermined temperature, then passes the heat from the boiling process through a radiator device to the rest of the house. Boilers use pumps instead of fans to move water through pipes around the house. While these are efficient, they do require a bit of maintenance to keep them running effectively.
  • Heat Pump: A heat pump uses an electrical system to draw in air from the outside and heats the air to warm your house. Air-source heat pumps use exterior air to warm the home. Ground-source systems, also known as GX, GeoExchange or geothermal, draw heat from underground. One advantage to this system is that it can also be used to cool the home in the summer by reversing the process.
  • Radiant Heating: Radiant heating involves the installation of heating panels in the walls or floors of a home. The panels heat up and pass their heat around the house the same way you can feel the heat of a burner on a stove.

Types of Cooling Systems

  • Central Air Conditioning: This system uses a compressor that has a refrigerant-filled coil to distribute cool air throughout the entire house. The system distributes the air through the house by using the same ducts as a furnace. This system is usually one of the most efficient in cooling a home, but it can also be one of the most expensive depending on how much power it requires.
  • Heat Pump Air Conditioners: Heat pump air conditioners work the same as a heat pump, but instead of drawing in warm air, it draws in the cool air. This simply involves reversing the cycle used to heat the house. One of the greatest advantages to this is that the same system works for both heating and cooling the home.
  • Split Ductless ACs: These are mini air conditioning units for each room. Each mini unit is connected to the same outdoor compressor and works independently without the need for ducts. These are ideal for cooling individual rooms of a home without wasting air on other parts of the home. However, it may be more of a chore to manage the cooling of every room if you want to cool the whole house.
  • Radiant Cooling: This type of cooling system absorbs radiated heat from a room using panels in walls, floors or ceilings. Some panels may use chilled water to circulate through the system and maintain temperature. One drawback to this type of system is that it is not as efficient and may lead to moisture buildup in carpets or ceilings.
  • Evaporative Coolers: Also known as swamp coolers, evaporative coolers draw in air from the outside to pass through wet filters or pads that cool the air using evaporation. The system then circulates the air through the house. They are ideal for use in drier climates as the cooling effect wears off once the humidity reaches a certain percentage.

Cost Comparison of Heating & Cooling Systems

To understand how much the different heating systems are likely to cost, here is a basic cost comparison table of the various types of heating systems and their average range of cost. These costs don’t account for labor during installation.

Furnace $2,500 - $5,800
Boiler $3,345 - $7,265
Heat Pump $3,957 - $6,754
Radiant Heating           $1,968 - $5,768

Here’s the cost comparison for the different types of cooling systems. Again, these prices don’t take into account labor costs for installation.

Central Air $3,702 - $7,132
Heat Pump AC $3,957 - $6,754
Split Ductless AC $1,434 - $1,674
Radiant Cooling $1,968 - $5,768
Evaporative Coolers           $1,606 - $3,664

Considerations When Selecting Your HVAC System

When selecting the right HVAC system for your home, you will want to take into account the size of your home and the climate of the region in which you live. You should also consider consulting with professionals about new and emerging technologies to get the most out of your heating and cooling systems. Even something as simple as a smart thermostat control system could help you to save money and power on whatever HVAC system you use. Learn more about the latest home optimization systems by contacting PowerScout.

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