Types of Heating Systems For Your Home

If you are thinking of upgrading your current HVAC system and aren’t sure which route to take, understanding the different types of heating systems and how they work, may help make your decision easier. 

Choosing the best energy-efficient heating system for your home will help save money on energy bills and help ensure that you and your family remain comfortable. 

Understanding how these systems work will help you rest assured that you chose the right system for your home and for you heating and cooling needs. 

All home heating systems have one goal: to keep you warm and comfortable during the winter. 


Furnaces are a very popular heating system in the United States. The furnace uses a blower fan that delivers heated air to your home through your air ducts.  Furnace systems are a type of forced air or ducted warm-air distribution system. They are powered by natural gas, fuel, electricity, or oil, and use a system of fans and ducts to distribute warm air throughout a building.

Furnaces produce a flame that heats your heat exchange. This heat is then pumped through your ducts and delivered to the rooms in your home.

One of the first components in your heating system to start up is the Inducer fan. It spins for 30-60 seconds before the burners are ignited.

The “Inducer” fan eliminates combustion gases from the combustion chamber after the previous heating cycle. 

The gases are directed into the furnace’s flue pipe and out of the home. This allows for the even distribution of combustion gases inside the heat exchanger and helps to maximize its effectiveness.

A furnace or forced air system combines cooling and heating into one system, which means that this system can also be used for air conditioning during the summer months.


Boiler systems provide heat to your home by heating water. 

Boilers use natural gas or another type of fuel to heat up the water and turn it into steam. The steam created is then sent to radiator units around your home through piping. The extra water vapor is condensed onto the collector. The Collector then recycles the water, and that water can be used on the next heat cycle. 

Steam boilers are not very common today. Boilers work great for zoned heating but aren’t efficient for heating large areas at once.

Boilers do not use fans, they use pumps to circulate the heated water. Boilers are significantly more expensive to run than furnaces but work great for targetted zone heating, which helps to control the temperature in separate rooms. 

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are a fairly new type of heating system. Heat pumps work by cycling cold air for hot air, similar to an air conditioner. 

In the summer months, heat pumps move hot air inside of your home to the outside. In winter months, Heat pumps move heat from the outside to the inside of the house. Just like a forced air system, heat pumps typically use a forced air distribution system. 

This type of heating system uses an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor air handler and can be used for both heating and cooling. 

Before purchasing a heat pump system, you will need to consider the type of climate you live in. Heat pump systems are not as common in frigid areas like a furnace or boilers. They are more common in milder climates. 

Heat pumps are a very efficient cooling and heating system.

Direct Heating Systems

Some homes may use Direct Heating systems rather than centralized heating systems. A Direct heating system does not have ductwork and only heats a designated area. These systems are typically used to heat small rooms. 

Space Heaters are the most common type of Direct Heating System. They can be either gas-powered or electric.  The Gas-powered space heaters are typically in a fixed space and are directly connected to the home’s gas lines. 

Electric space heaters are made to be mobile and can be unplugged and placed in different rooms when needed. Electric space heaters are a very frugal investment for heating up small areas inside your home. They use electricity to power. 

Wood stoves or pellet stoves are another forms of a Direct Heating System. These types of direct heating systems can pollute the air and are found in a more rural homes. Wood or pellets are cheaper than gas or electric systems, but burning wood or pellets releases pollutants into the air in your home. 

Solar Heating

We have used the sunlight to heat our home since the beginning of time. 

Solar Heating systems are expensive, but high-efficiency routes to take. If you are interested in saving money by cutting energy costs, a solar heating system is a good route to take. 

The two types of solar heating systems are active and passive systems. Visit  The Difference Between Active and Passive Solar Systems (yellowlite.com), to learn the difference between active and passive solar heating systems. 


In our opinion, the best heating system would be a heat pump system. In the area we live in, heat pumps are your more efficient options for a heating system. 

Ultimately, the decision is up to the homeowner. Our HVAC technicians will provide the information needed to the homeowner in order to make the best decision for their home. 

Parish Cooling and Heating takes pride in providing high-quality heater repair and heater installation in Lafayette, LA, and all surrounding areas. Parish Cooling and Heating provides top-notch, professional heating and cooling services to all of Acadiana. 


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