How to Choose the Right Home Heating System

Choosing a home heating system is one of the less fun aspects of designing a new home. It can be a costly and tedious choice that will impact your home’s long-term value and cost of living. It’s essential to make the right choice initially, as replacing your home heating system is no small feat.

If you’re at a loss for which system to choose for your new home, keep these considerations in mind.


Consider the Fuel Source

One of the top considerations when choosing a home heating system is your preferred fuel source. There are pros and cons to each fuel source, as well as limitations surrounding their availability.

First, consider what options are available in your area. While you might like the idea of a wood furnace, it’s likely not the best choice in a suburban setting where sourcing, transporting, and storing wood is a challenge. And while there’s lots to be said for natural gas, it’s not an option for all locations.

Look at the options, then weigh the pros and cons surrounding accessibility, costs, and cleanliness. 

Consider the Distribution

Another important consideration when determining the right heating system for your home is the distribution method. Forced air is one of the most common distribution systems, as it’s affordable and versatile. You can use the elaborate ductwork and fans of forced air systems for both air conditioning and heating. As 90% of homes use this distribution method, you should take the time to find more info about this option.

Hydronic (boiler) heating is often used for radiant, in-floor heat distribution. This option is quiet and requires minimal maintenance, taking advantage of the natural movement of heat from floor to ceiling. However, it’s a costly option that doesn’t have the same versatility as forced air. In other words, you may end up spending thousands more to install a separate home cooling system.

There are other options as well, but the cons tend to far outweigh the pros in modern home design.

Weigh the Short-Term and Long-Term Costs

When measuring the costs and figuring out your budget for home heating, it’s vital to take both a short-term and a long-term view. It’s well worth the cost of installing a new, energy-efficient system that will save you thousands of dollars over the years. On the other hand, if hydronic heating is going to cost $20,000 more up front, it may not be feasible for your budget. 

The main consideration is whether the savings will pay for themselves by the time your system needs to be upgraded or replaced. You’ll also need to calculate the maintenance fees over time. 

Do You Need a Supplemental System?

As many homeowners come to find out, having a single system isn’t always sufficient. Whether it’s an issue of needing small-area climate control or something more cost-effective for the fringe seasons, having a supplemental system can help.

When designing a new home, having a supplemental system may not occur to you. If you’re moving into a new area, do some research to determine what other homeowners are using. You may determine that having an oil furnace is best for your home but that a mini-split will help you keep costs low over time. Conversely, you might use a heat pump during the spring and fall before turning up the thermostat.

The need for supplemental systems depends on various factors: your region, climate, home size, home style, etc.

Look at Energy Efficiency

Another important consideration when choosing a home heating system is the overall energy efficiency. This is an important consideration as it can directly impact your long-term costs. Furthermore, many prospective buyers will look at this as a selling feature when viewing your home.

Keep these key considerations in mind when choosing the best home heating system for your house.

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