Home heating system is a necessity over homes of non-tropical regions or countries. Home heating systems require energy and therefore money. Choosing the right heating system is probably a very important factor as well as to insure efficiency since you are investing not just energy but also money.
There are two major types of home heating systems used in Canadian homes; hot air or forced air systems and hot water heating systems or hydronic. Majority of homes built since 1950’s have “forced-air systems” which means producing heat using gas, oil or propane furnace. This works by distributing heat by throughout the house through a duct or pipe. One of the advantages of forced-air heating system is the ease in adding air conditioning means by mounting an air conditioning coil into a plenum above surface.
Hot water or hydronic heating systems are introduced on many homes in Canada built before 1950’s. This usually uses a boiler to supply hot water to cast iron radiators. Hot water heating system is also widely used in Europe as it provides a more comfortable heat, however air conditioning is supplied on a separate system. Natural gas is the most widely used heating fuels in Canada, but is not available in many rural areas. Propane is also available widely in Canada and is therefore used as heating fuel. However other regions in Canada use electricity for heating systems because it is relatively at low-cost in their area.
Forced air furnace and heating boilers are more efficient than those used in the past. In Canada, the minimum efficiency for natural gas-burning furnaces is 90% annual utilization efficiency. The minimum efficiency for gas-fired hot water boilers and steamed boilers ranges from 80 to 82 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency. Seasonal efficiency is important in determining how much it is going to heat your home. In addition, furnaces which are built in ECM (electrically accumulated motor) can save a considerable electrical energy.