There are several different types of heating systems that can be installed in homes – furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, even ductless heating systems. Among the various options, what are the best choices for homeowners in Maryland? Grove Heating & Cooling shares reliable heating system options for your home in Crofton and the surrounding areas.
Maryland Heating Considerations
Determining the best types of heating systems is really a subjective choice that depends on the criteria you need a heating system to meet. For all types of heating and air conditioning equipment, the climate of the installation location should always be a primary concern. Certain heating choices perform better when used in some climates versus others.
Maryland winters are known to be snowy and cold, and occasionally can feel quite brutal. During January, the coldest month of the year in our state, areas in the central and eastern parts of the state see average high temperatures around 35 degrees and lows between 16 to 30 degrees – overnight, it’s not out of the ordinary for temperatures to fall below 0 degrees in some spots! With such frigid winter conditions, Maryland homeowners need heating systems that are designed to perform reliably in temperatures below freezing.
- 43.9 percent of heating systems installed in homes across the state use natural gas.
- Electric heating systems are used in 42.2 percent of Maryland homes.
Types of Heating Systems That Use Natural Gas
Natural gas heating systems are the top choice among Maryland homeowners, with more households using natural gas heat than systems that run off other fuel sources. Natural gas forced air systems heat air to a higher temperature than electric options, which is why they are typically preferred in cold climates.
Natural gas utility prices are also lower than electricity, making natural gas heating a more affordable option. Actual heating costs depend on several factors including usage and the energy efficiency of different types of heating systems.
Natural Gas Furnaces
Natural gas furnaces are types of heating systems that are forced air central systems. This means they produce heated air through combustion of natural gas from a central unit in the home. The system’s blower forces the heated air through ductwork into rooms throughout the dwelling.
- Natural gas furnaces offer better energy-efficiency ratings versus oil or electric furnace types of heating systems.
- The cost to install a furnace is typically more affordable than installing a boiler.
- Furnaces are able to react faster than boilers to thermostat adjustments, heating spaces in less time.
Natural Gas Boilers
Natural gas boilers include two types of heating systems: steam boilers and hot water boilers. Both units use combustion of natural gas to heat water that moves through a piping system to connected radiators in rooms throughout the home. This radiant heating system transfers heat from the radiators into the air.
- Boilers aren’t forced air systems, so they do not circulate allergens, dust, and other airborne pollutants throughout the home. There’s no air filter to change, and the system operates quietly without noise from a blower.
- The radiant heating process disperses heat more evenly in a space compared to forced air heating from a furnace.
- Boiler types of heating systems are more affordable to operate compared to furnaces as they consume less fuel.
Electric Heat Pump Systems
Many Maryland homeowners have chosen to use electric types of heating systems – most commonly, a heat pump. Heat pumps don’t burn fuel like natural gas to create heat. Instead, they use electric energy to transfer heat between sources to increase air temperature before warmed air is circulated through the ducts to rooms.
- An electric heat pump system is highly efficient. Heat pumps have about 300% efficiency from air-source units and 400% efficiency from geothermal systems. The most efficient natural gas furnaces and boiler systems are around 97% efficient.
- Heat pump systems can both heat and cool a home, while furnaces and boilers only provide heating.
- Because no fuel is combusted, heat pump systems do not produce any direct carbon emissions like natural gas heating systems do.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps transfer heat between indoor and outdoor air. Newer heat pump models offer efficient heating throughout much of the Maryland winter, though their efficiency can decline when outdoor temperatures are extremely low. Backup electrical resistance heat strips can be installed for use during these periods or a gas furnace is a common choice for backup heat.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
To heat, geothermal heat pump systems extract heat from below ground. A ground loop component made of fluid-filled piping buried on the property absorbs heat, which is circulated to the heat pump in the home. The heat pump transfers heat from the loop to the air for warmth, then air circulates throughout the house.
Find the Right Heating System for Your Home
Grove Heating & Cooling helps Maryland homeowners explore the best types of heating systems for use during the winter months in New England. For more information or to schedule an estimate, contact us today.