Best Types Of Heating Systems

Central Heat

The majority of North American households depend on a central furnace to provide heat. This type of heating system is called a ducted warm-air or forced warm-air distribution system.

New furnace standards are currently under development by the U.S. Department of Energy, and are due to be finalized in the spring of 2016. The current furnace standards have not been updated since 1987.

Heating system controls regulate when the various components of the heating system turn on and off. The most important control from your standpoint is the thermostat, which turns the system-- or at least the distribution system-- on and off to keep you comfortable.

The best gas furnaces and boilers today have efficiencies over 90%. The efficiency of a fossil-fuel furnace or boiler is a measure of the amount of useful heat produced per unit of input energy (fuel). Combustion efficiency is the simplest measure; it is just the system's efficiency while it is running. Combustion efficiency is like the miles per gallon your car gets cruising along at 55 miles per hour on the highway.

In the U.S., furnace efficiency is regulated by minimum AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). AFUE estimates seasonal efficiency, averaging peak and part-load situations. AFUE accounts for start-up, cool-down, and other operating losses that occur in real operating conditions, and includes an estimate of electricity used by the air handler, inducer fan, and controls. AFUE is like your car mileage between fill-ups, including both highway driving and stop-and-go traffic. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace or boiler.


While furnaces carry heat in warm air, boiler systems distribute the heat in hot water, which gives up heat as it passes through radiators or other devices in rooms throughout the house. Hot water systems are often called hydronic systems.

In steam boilers, which are much less common in homes today, the water is boiled and steam carries heat through the house, condensing to water in the radiators as it cools. Oil and natural gas are commonly used.

Instead of a fan and duct system, a boiler uses a pump to circulate hot water through pipes to radiators. Some hot water systems circulate water through plastic tubing in the floor, a system called radiant floor heating (see "State of the Art Heating"). Important boiler controls include thermostats, aquastats, and valves that regulate circulation and water temperature. Although the cost is not trivial, it is generally much easier to install "zone" thermostats and controls for individual rooms with a hydronic system than with forced air. Some controls are standard features in new boilers, while others can be added on to save energy (see the "Modifications by Heating System Technicians" section on the heating maintenance page).

As with furnaces, condensing gas-fired boilers are relatively common, and significantly more efficient than non-condensing boilers (unless very sophisticated controls are employed). Oil-fired condensing boilers are uncommon in the U.S. for several reasons related to lower latent heat potential, and potential for greater fouling with conventional fuel oil.

Heat Pumps.

In winter, the heat pump reverses this trick, scavenging heat from the cold outdoors with the help of an electrical system, and discharging that heat inside the house. Almost all heat pumps use forced warm-air delivery systems to move heated air throughout the house.

A ground-source heat pump heats and cools in any climate by exchanging heat with the ground, which has a more constant temperature. Air-source heat pumps use the outside air as the heat source in winter and heat sink in summer. Ground-source (also called geothermal, GeoExchange, or GX) heat pumps get their heat from underground, where temperatures are more constant year-round. Air-source heat pumps are far more common than ground-source heat pumps because they are cheaper and easier to install.

Whereas an air-source heat pump is installed much like a central air conditioner, ground-source heat pumps require that a "loop" be buried in the ground, usually in long, shallow (3-- 6' deep) trenches or in one or more vertical boreholes. The particular method used will depend on the experience of the installer, the size of your lot, the subsoil, and the landscape. Some systems draw in groundwater and pass it through the heat exchanger instead of using a refrigerant. The groundwater is then returned to the aquifer.

Because electricity in a heat pump is used to move heat rather than to generate it, the heat pump can deliver more energy than it consumes. The ratio of delivered heating energy to consumed energy is called the coefficient of performance, or COP, with typical values ranging from 1.5 to 3.5. This is a "steady-state" measure and not directly comparable to the heating season performance factor (HSPF), a seasonal measure mandated for rating the heating efficiency of air-source heat pumps. Converting between the measures is not straightforward, but ground-source units are generally more efficient than air-source heat pumps.

Direct Heat. Gas-Fired Space Heaters.

In some areas, gas-fired direct heating equipment is popular. This includes wall-mounted, free-standing, and floor furnaces, all characterized by their lack of ductwork and relatively small heat output. Because they lack ducts, they are most useful for warming a single room. If heating several rooms is required, either the doors between rooms must be left open or another heating method is necessary. Better models use "sealed combustion air" systems, with pipes installed through the wall to both provide combustion air and carry off the combustion products. These units can provide acceptable performance, particularly for cabins and other buildings where large temperature differences between bedrooms and main rooms are acceptable. The models can be fired with natural gas or propane, and some burn kerosene.

Unvented Gas-Fired Heaters: A Bad Idea.

Gas or kerosene space heaters that do not have an exhaust vent have been sold for decades, but we strongly discourage their use for health and safety reasons. Known as "vent-free" gas heating appliances by manufacturers, they include wall-mounted and free-standing heaters as well as open-flame gas fireplaces with ceramic logs that are not actually connected to a chimney. Manufacturers claim that because the products' combustion efficiency is very high, they are safe for building occupants. However, this claim is only valid if you keep a nearby window open for adequate fresh air-- which defeats the purpose of supplemental heat. Dangers include exposure to combustion by-products, as discussed in Ventilation, and oxygen depletion (these heaters must be equipped with oxygen depletion sensors). Because of these hazards, at least five states (California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Montana, and Alaska) prohibit their use in homes, and many cities in the United States and Canada have banned them as well.

Electric Space Heaters.

Portable (plug-in) electric heaters are inexpensive to buy, but costly to use. These resistive heaters include "oil-filled" and "quartz-infrared" heaters. They convert electric current from the wall socket directly into heat, like a toaster or clothes iron. As explained further under "Selecting a New System," it takes a lot of electricity to deliver the same amount of useful heat that natural gas or oil can provide onsite. A 1,500- watt plug-in heater will use almost the entire capacity of a 15-amp branch circuit; thus, adding much additional load will trip the circuit breaker or blow the fuse. The cost to operate a 1,500-watt unit for an hour is simple to compute: it is 1.5 times your electricity cost in cents per kilowatt-hour. At national average rates-- 12 cents kWh for electricity-- that heater would cost 18 cents per hour to run-- and quickly cost more than its purchase price. On the other hand, for intermittent use, it is the "least-bad" solution when alternatives would require major investments to improve ductwork for a specific area. Just remember, electric resistance heat is usually the most expensive form of heat, and it is, therefore, seldom recommended.

" Electric baseboard heat" is yet another kind of resistive heating, similar to a plug-in space heater except that it is hard-wired. It has two principal virtues: the installation cost is low, and it is easy to install individual room thermostats so you can turn down the heat in rooms that aren't being used. Operating costs, as for all resistive systems, are generally very high, unless the house is "super-insulated.".

Wood-Burning and Pellet Stoves.

Wood heating can make a great deal of sense in rural areas if you enjoy stacking wood and stoking the stove or furnace. Wood prices are generally lower than gas, oil, or electricity. If you cut your own wood, the savings can be large. Pollutants from wood burning have been a problem in some parts of the country, causing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement regulations that govern pollution emissions from wood stoves. As a result, new models are quite clean-burning. Pellet stoves offer a number of advantages over wood stoves. They are less polluting than wood stoves and offer users greater convenience, temperature control, and indoor air quality.


Gas (and most wood) fireplaces are basically part of a room's décor, providing a warm glow (and a way to dispose of secret documents), but typically not an effective heat source. With customary installations that rely on air drawn from the room into the fireplace for combustion and dilution, the fireplace will generally lose more heat than it provides, because so much warm air is drawn through the unit and must be replaced by cold outside air. On the other hand, if the fireplace is provided with a tight-sealing glass door, a source of outside air, and a good chimney damper, it can provide useful heat.

State of the Art Heating. Radiant floor heat generally refers to systems that circulate warm water in tubes under the floor. This warms the floor, which in turn warms people using the room. It is highly controllable, considered efficient by its advocates, and is expensive to install. It also requires a very experienced system designer and installer, and limits carpet choices and other floor finishes: you don't want to "blanket" your heat source.

Ductless, Mini-Split, Multi-Split. Residential ductwork is relatively rare outside North America. "Ductless" heat pumps, which distribute energy through refrigerant lines instead of water or air, are widely used. Large field trials in the Pacific Northwest suggest that they can have good cold weather performance, and be very cost-effective where replacing electric resistance heating. Like ground-source systems, relative immaturity of the market helps assure that whole-house multi-split systems carry premium prices.

Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration for houses is being seriously studied in some countries. The basic premise is to use a small generator to meet some of the electric demand of the house, and recover the waste heat (typically more than 70% of the heating value of the fuel) to heat the house (hydronic or water-to-air systems) and make domestic hot water. These systems are not yet widely available. They are likely to have the best economics in houses with high heating bills because the house can not be feasibly insulated, such as solid stone or brick homes.

While furnaces carry heat in warm air, boiler systems distribute the heat in hot water, which gives up heat as it passes through radiators or other devices in rooms throughout the house. In winter, the heat pump reverses this trick, scavenging heat from the cold outdoors with the help of an electrical system, and discharging that heat inside the house. Air-source heat pumps use the outside air as the heat source in winter and heat sink in summer. Because electricity in a heat pump is used to move heat rather than to generate it, the heat pump can deliver more energy than it consumes. The basic premise is to use a small generator to meet some of the electric demand of the house, and recover the waste heat (typically more than 70% of the heating value of the fuel) to heat the house (hydronic or water-to-air systems) and make domestic hot water.

Heating And Cooling Systems in Australia


Depending on where you live in Australia , you either have very cold seasons where it is freezing outside, hot seasons where it is warm and muggy outdoors, or both and that why you need Australia heating and cooling services.That's not to mention the fact that sometimes rain or other conditions keep you from allowing the cool outdoor air inside your home, even if the temperature is nice.

As such, we have come to rely on heating and cooling to make it comfortable inside our homes. As a result, for native Australians, names like Braemar and Brivis become a part of our everyday lives as we deal with maintaining livable temperatures indoors. Since heating and cooling is such a big part of either renting or owning a home, it is imperative to be smart about how you heat and cool your home. When looking into commercial air conditioning, always consider the effectiveness of the system you are looking at. Hopefully, you are lucky enough to have central air conditioning in your home instead of another system (including the dreaded window air conditioner). Evaporative cooling, ducted air conditioning, and other cooling systems all have their supporters, and it is up to you to choose what works best for you based on the strengths and weaknesses of each.

A reverse cycle split system paired with ducted action like that used by Actron Air is also very reliable. Heating is another issue, and will similarly often be dictated by how your house is set up. For instance, you may have no choice but to use a gas heater if your home has been set up for gas heating. The key to keeping heating costs down is efficiency, as it is with cooling. Keep your doors closed and maximize sunlight during the colder months while limiting it during the hotter months. Look ahead at the weather to know whether you can turn off the air or heat for a nicer streak of weather. A lot of these tips seem like common sense, but can really help you to keep down heating and cooling costs. Sometimes, you may need to maintain your heating and cooling systems

Australia Heating and cooling systems are made to prevent just such a situation. Always make sure that your providers will give you competitive rates for installing and maintaining heating and cooling systems. It is important that you know that you have other options if you feel like prices are too high, or you cannot afford them. Only by looking around will you know whether or not some one's price is fair, anyway. No matter what, always be smart about heating and cooling your home.

4 Benefits of Dehumidification

Home Comfort, Dehumidification, Home Dehumidifier, Heating & Cooling Two, Maple Grove, MNMinnesota’s 10,000-plus lakes add beauty to the state, but they also contribute to our humid summer weather. High moisture levels in the air trap more heat in our bodies and make the air temperature feel hotter.

While the outdoors may feel suffocating, whole-house dehumidification can be integrated into your heating and cooling system and keep your home dry and comfortable. Here are four benefits of a whole-house dehumidifier.

1. Comfort

Your air conditioning system provides relief from high temperatures and a certain amount of dehumidification, but its main job is not to balance indoor humidity. Extra-humid summer days can make a 72-degree home feel much hotter. A whole-house dehumidifier works with your air conditioner to lower relative humidity into the 30-50% range.

2. Energy Savings

The added comfort provided by a dehumidifier allows you to raise the temperature on your thermostat by 5-10 degrees and even turn off your AC on cooler days. This helps you save big money on your monthly utility bill.

3. Mold and Mildew Prevention

High moisture facilitates the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. This can create an unhealthy environment and trigger allergies and asthma. Effective dehumidification improves air quality and helps you breathe easier.

4. Reduced Water Damage

Excessive humidity is bad for many types of surfaces in your home, especially wood. Wooden floors, cabinets and furniture can suffer from wood rot and warping in humid environments.

Contact Heating & Cooling today to learn more about installing a dehumidification system in your home. Our highly-experienced technicians can integrate a dehumidifier into your heating and cooling system to keep your home dry and comfortable!

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Should You Call for Air Conditioner Repair? Four Things to Check Before You Make the Call

air conditioner repair

Summer is nearly here, and so are those sticky, sun-filled days. However nice they might look, some days are just too hot to be outside. But before you can spend the day inside your nice, cool house, you had better make sure your air conditioner is working properly!

If you turn on your AC and notice that something’s wrong, your immediate instinct may be to call for air conditioner repair. But before you do that, there are five places to start your troubleshootingy.

Air filter
If you know your air filter hasn’t been replaced in a little while, this is definitely a good place to start. HVAC filters should be changed every 90 days or so to prevent costly damage to your unit. If you check it and the filter looks dirty or clogged, then it may simply be time for a new air filter. If you replace the filter and something still seems to be off, you should call your home air conditioning service.

Circuit breakers
Sometimes power switches and breakers can be turned off accidentally, so this is one of the first things that you should check. If breakers were recently flipped for another appliance, it’s possible that the heating and cooling systems breakers were flipped by accident. However, a tripped HVAC breaker might be an indication of a larger problem. Calling for home air conditioning repair is a good idea in this case.

Checking the vents, grills, and air ducts for blockages is essential to repairing your air conditioning. Not only that, but any furniture or plants should be moved at least two feet away from vents in home air conditioning systems to ensure the circulation of cool air.

Property manager or landlord
If you’re renting your property, our landlord or property manager needs to be contacted before you call anyone else. In the vast majority of cases, technicians will not be able to perform air conditioner repair without first obtaining the owner’s approval.

Don’t let your family melt away in the summer heat! Check your air conditioner before you use it for the first time so you know that it’s working. With proper maintenance, it should be serving you for another 12 to 15 years!

The post Should You Call for Air Conditioner Repair? Four Things to Check Before You Make the Call appeared first on Vitt Heating and Cooling.

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The benefits of using ducted heating in your home and offices

Ducted heating and heatpump are products that make your deepest darkest and coldest days lively and warm. These products can control the temperature of your home and make you fight the outer weather so that you can do your house chores easily and comfortably. There are winter days when you don't want to leave your bed because the weather is frosty. This biting weather can be controlled with ducted heating. These modern equipments can be used to control the speed of the fan and the air pressure that passes through it. The modern and safe technology allows heatpump to be energy efficient products.

Benefits of ducted heating is wide you may not even realize the benefits even after installing these items in your home. Below are some of the benefits listed for your knowledge:

1. Prevention of cold weather: You can continue your work inside the premises of your home without feeling the effects of the outer atmosphere. Cold can only be prevented through the medium of external control of temperature and ducted heating allows you the use of such weather. You can bask in the heat of emanated from heat pumps and go about your work without the need to cover yourself in layers of clothes.

2. Flexibility in control of temperature: Ducted heating allows the user to control the temperature of different rooms according to the amount of temperature that has set in. So if a person requires the room temperature to be more in one room than he can control it through the channel of a remote control. No separate systems need to be stored in order to allow flexibility in control.

3. Energy efficient: Everyone in the world is becoming aware about the need to preserve the environment. Heatpumps allows you to contribute to the environment by being the most energy efficient products. Technology need not only be about depletion of resources. The products used for heating your home have been tested to convert the air and turn it into warm air. This does not require usage of limited resources. Most channels even work on electrical powers thereby preserving the need to use limited resources of the universe.

4. Compact: You can buy compact ducted heating for your home and save space for your home. You are no longer bound to buy bulky appliances or display them in your home. The space that appliances of heating had occupied can be used for some other purpose or you could free your room and enjoy the emptiness.

There are a lot of products that can be used for making your home a comfortable place to live in. You just need to know where to invest your hard earned money and in procuring the right products for your home. You job is only to find a good brand that manufactures heatpumps and ducted heating for homes and offices and the rest of the work will be done by the company you have hired. They will make sure you enjoy the above listed benefits when you buy their items.

Alex Rodriguez is an expert content writer. He is very experienced content writer. He has written many articles on ducted heating and heatpump .

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Raising The Bar From Your HVAC Contractor

Raising the Bar - Masters Heating and Cooling
This is the month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where an estimated 10,000 athletes representing more than 200 countries from around the globe will compete for all the world to see. These athletes, who hail from different cultures and climates and speak many different languages, all have this in common: they have diligently trained for years – some, all their lives – for the opportunity to compete for gold.

Quality means the best of the best and that’s what spectators heading for Rio expect to see. Keeping that competitive spirit in mind, we believe our customers should expect only the best when they call Masters for HVAC services. We strive to hire and retain only highly-trained, certified and licensed professionals to handle your air conditioning and heating needs. Like these athletes, our professional technicians are required to complete extensive training and testing to make sure they are knowledgeable, competent and able to handle any situation they encounter. Our customers can rest easy knowing our team is licensed, backed with certification from major industry organizations and properly bonded and insured. We stand by our work and are covered by a reputable insurance company in the event an unfortunate accident requiring repairs or compensation occurs.

The advanced HVAC systems of today require more than just the homeowner’s eye or amateur’s hand and all repairs and service should always be handled by a licensed, trained professional. There are plenty of companies out there who profess to be experts; make sure you thoroughly check out their credentials. And whatever your do, don’t wait until your system breaks down or begins running poorly – schedule a check-up now and bring home the gold.

We take no shortcuts and our guarantee our customers that our certified and licensed professionals have followed all protocols and regulations for safety and service. Call Masters today for quality air conditioning service!

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Benefits of Gas Ducted Heating

If you have decided that now is the time to install a new heating system in your home, before you go with a traditional heating system you should consider gas ducted heating. This is a great way to heat your home in a much more energy efficient and healthy manner for the whole home.

Your first question might be why you would choose gas to heat your home instead of electricity if that is what you are currently doing. Gas is a much more effective means of heating a home and it is also more efficient in terms of how much or little it takes to heat a space. Additionally, having a gas ducted heating system is much more healthy as it creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electric and solid fuel heating systems. It's also been shown that electric heaters will cause dry air that will irritate the skin, the eyes and the throat but these issues are not nearly as common with gas heating systems.

Gas ducted systems are great for those homes that need to be made as efficient as possible. Unlike electric heaters, gas systems will be able to work efficiently regardless of the outside temperature, but this is not the case with electric systems as they lose their efficiency after a certain temperature. It's simply more efficient to have a system that can work regardless of temperature as opposed to one that will have to continue to run and run, using expensive energy, while still not being able to keep up with the outside temperature.

Something that is really great about gas ducted heating is that you can choose to heat certain zones of the house or other depending on the time of the day or night. Choosing to heat by zone will allow your home to be even more efficient as you will only be heating the space that you are using at any given time.

Additionally, when you choose gas ducted heating what you see is what you get. In other words, you are not putting huge bulky units anywhere in your home. This is not always possible when you are installing electric heating systems in your home, so when you consider that not only will you be saving space in your home and saving energy, you just can't go wrong. Many experts are now saying that when you combine all of the benefits associated with gas ducted heating and you compare them to the benefits of electric heating that there simply is no competition.

Working with a specialist will help you determine if gas ducted heating is right for your home. If you are making a change, now is the time to make it.There is no better time to convert than when you would be making a change anyway. And really, the investment will be much less than you might think. While there are start up costs, especially if you are going from a ductless system to a ducted system, the investment will pay for itself in short order.