A central heating system is when one large heating unit, such as a furnace or boiler, provides heat to multiple areas of a house. It’s often considered more efficient than having multiple smaller heaters. The most common types of central heating systems are:
A furnace burns fuel such as natural gas, propane or oil to generate hot air which is blown through vents and ductwork to heat the house. Furnaces are common for homes in cooler climates.
A boiler heats water or another liquid medium which is then pumped through radiators to release heat. Boilers are good for homes where radiators work well, such as in basements or on exterior walls.
• Air handler
Contains a furnace, cooling coil, fan, filters, etc. The air handler Unit is the main component of a forced air system which blows heated or cooled air through ducts.
• Zone control
Uses a common furnace or boiler but has separate zones, dampers and thermostats to control the temperature in different parts of the house. This allows customizing the temperature in rooms with different usage patterns.
• Forced air
Uses a furnace, air handler unit and ductwork to blow heated air to vents throughout the living space. Forced air systems are very common and provide even temperature control.
• Radiant heating
Uses radiant heat panels or tubes to warm objects and people in a room, which in turn warm the air. Radiant heating warms everything in the room evenly without blowing air.
• Programmable thermostats
Allow automatically controlling the temperature at more efficient times when people are away or sleeping. Programmable thermostats can help save energy with a central heating system.
• Additional features
May include humidifiers, air filters, heat exchangers, etc. to improve efficiency, temperature control, indoor air quality or moisture levels.
The benefits of a central heating system include efficiency, even heating, safety, and comfort. The main downside is that the large equipment required can be more expensive to install and operate. Let me know if you have any other questions!