Which Type of Heating System Is Best?

December 25, 2020 6:38 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re in the market for a new heating system for your home, it’s important that you do plenty of research into the available options and consult with a heating contractor in Oregon City, OR so you can determine which type of heating system is best for your needs.

Some of the most important factors to consider will be the fuel or energy source, the type of distribution system (i.e., hot water versus forced air), the efficiency of the potential heating system and the overall cost of the unit.

With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at the most popular types of heating systems and their various advantages and disadvantages.


Furnaces are the most popular type of heating system you’ll find, largely because they are the most affordable option in most cases.

Base model furnaces have minimal efficiency (AFUE of around 80 percent). You can get mid-efficiency furnaces with a slightly higher AFUE, and high-efficiency gas or propane condensing furnaces with AFUEs of 90 to 96 percent.

Obviously, the more efficient the system, the more expensive you can expect it to be, but you will likely be able to earn that money back over time in energy savings. If you live in a cold climate or a large home wit high heating requirements, a high-efficiency furnace will be the most cost-effective option available.

Furnaces rely on forced-air heating, allowing them to pair well with central air conditioners. However, they can use a significant amount of electricity for powering the fan motor. You can look for systems that have high electrical efficiency as well as AFUE.


Boilers are also rated on their efficiency with AFUE, and any boiler made since 1992 is required to have an AFUE of at least 80 percent, versus the 55 to 65 percent often found in older boilers.

Boilers send hot water to radiators for radiant heating. When looking for a new boiler, you’ll want to find one that has efficient controls, relatively low electrical requirements and a capability of creating indirect water heating. With more efficient controls, you’ll be able to cut down on the losses you experience during mild weather periods and off-cycle times.

Beyond the fuel they use, boilers will also consume electricity to power the circulating pumps. This means you should look for high-efficiency pumps as well, which will help create better electrical efficiency.

Heat pumps

Electric heat pumps are popular because of their outstanding efficiency. They use the same type of refrigerant cycle an air conditioner uses to cool your home, but focus on bringing hot air into the house rather than sending it outside.

Rather than AFUE, the number you’re going to want to pay attention to with a heat pump is HSPF, or the measure of seasonal efficiency. Minimum HSPF for air source heat pumps is 7.6, and high-efficiency models will be rated at 9 or higher.

Geothermal heat pumps provide you with even greater efficiency than electric heat pumps.

For more information about the available options for heating sources and the best options for your home, reach out to L & J Heating & Cooling to speak with an experienced heating contractor in Oregon City, OR.

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