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What is a Heating System?

Heating Systems comprise processes that help in raising the temperature of an enclosed space, be it your home or office space. It maintains an ambient temperature to ensure the comfort of the people living in.

Heating systems at home have evolved with time from the humble fireplace to technological advances, which brings in new options that have made heating your home more efficient and worthy of use.

Types of Heating Systems

Heating systems can be broadly classified into three types:

  1. Central Heating
  2. Direct Heating
  3. Radiant Floor Heating

Let’s study each of the above in some detail.

Central Heating

In this type of heating, water, or air is heated at one place and is circulated through pipes, radiators, or vents to warm your space. Central heating units generally have a fixed location for the heating device; it can either be a machine room, attic or basements. This kind of heating system is common in most houses, apartments, complexes, and commercial buildings.

Central Heating is done through:

1. Furnaces

Furnaces are popular and are one of the most common heating systems that help in heating the air, and then the hot air is distributed throughout the house via ducts or other transporting material. This heating system is also known as “Forced Air Heating.” It uses electricity, natural gas, or oil as fuels to provide warmth in the houses.

2. Boilers

Boilers are special-purpose water heaters that heat water by using natural gas, electricity, or propane as fuels. A boiler system distributes the heat in hot water, which passes through radiators or other devices in rooms and gives up heat as it flows throughout the house. The cooler water then goes back to the boiler to be heated again. Hot water systems are also known as “Hydronic systems.”

3. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are like two-way air conditioners that use a system that is similar to an air conditioner. Heat pumps capture the heat from the air and deliver it to the home through an indoor air handler. To state an example, every refrigeration machine is technically a heat pump, which pumps heat from an area of lower temperature to an area of higher temperature.  Usually, the heat pump is designed to function as an air conditioner in summer and reverses its role in winters to serve as a heat pump.

Direct Heating

In the process of heating the space through Direct Heating, the water is heated directly from the heat source by using an immersion heater or a boiler.

Direct Heating involves the use of :

1. Gas-Fired Space Heaters

This includes wall-mounted, free-standing, and floor furnaces. They lack ducts and other heat distributing equipment and are often used to warm small spaces.

2. Unvented Gas-Fired Heaters

They include gas or kerosene space heaters without an exhaust vent. This system is not a popular means to heat homes as they can be hazardous and cause accidents.

3. Electric Space Heaters

Electric heaters are easy to install and inexpensive as they do not require ductwork, pumps, or other distribution equipment. These are not preferred at homes as they consume a lot of electricity.

4. Wood-Burning and Pellet Stoves

This is the most traditional method, which is still a common source of Heating in rural areas that uses wood as fuel. They are less polluting and offer greater convenience, temperature control, and maintain indoor air quality.

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heat is an amazing option, as it heats the objects and materials kept in the house, such as furniture and flooring, rather than just the air, and it works best when paired with ceramic tiles as the flooring. A radiant heating system can heat your home without circulating allergens throughout the house because it transfers heat without the use of air ducts.


The types of heating systems listed in the article have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, to select one for your space, you should properly look for the best option that could effectively warm up your place while saving on your costs.

Electric Central Heating