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What Are the Best Heating Systems for Cold Climates?

natural-gas-furnace-burnersLooking into purchasing a new heating system? Our team is here to help. Sometimes, a technician simply recommends the most convenient system to install in a short period of time. If you have time to make an informed decision, though, check out our guide to the best heating systems for cold climates like ours.

Whole House vs. Portable

First, it’s important to know that a whole-house (central) heating system is always the best choice if you live in a cold climate. Portable heating systems cost so much to run, especially if they run on electricity. Heating a home with electricity can be costly (with the exception of a heat pump, which does not need to generate large amounts of heat). Besides, nothing beats the convenience of a central thermostat.

Types of Heaters

There are more types of central heating systems for homes in cold climates than you may realize, but we will focus on three main categories.

  • Radiant Heating – A radiant heating system uses a boiler to heat water before sending it to the rest of the home via pipes that lead through the walls and floors.
  • ForcedAir Furnaces – Available in electric and natural gas, central furnaces use a heat exchanger to heat the air before sending it out through the vents in the home.
  • Heat Pumps – Heat pumps are powered with electricity and use refrigerant to move heat in and out of a home’s air, for heating and cooling in one.

Boilers vs. Furnaces

When you are renovating a home or choosing a new heating system for a new home, you will typically choose between radiant heating and forced-air heating. A boiler can be costly to install and set up, but if you are already doing renovations, it may make sense. Boilers are highly efficient, due to the heat-water transfer that takes place, and they last a long time. Many people claim they heat the home more comfortably due to the power of radiant heat.

However, if you already have a set of ducts, it typically makes more sense to install a furnace. A gas furnace can power a home without high cost as well, as long as you select a high-efficiency system for installation.

Electric Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps

If you don’t have access to natural gas for your home heating, you can always find an electric heater, but some options are definitely better than others. An electric furnace may be the right choice in some areas, but in a cold climate, a heat pump is a better bet.

Generating heat via electricity can be costly. A heat pump only has to move heat, rather than generate it, at a fraction of the cost. In addition, it doubles as an air conditioner!

High Efficiency Heaters

What’s most important when you’re looking for a heating system in a cold climate is finding one with a high efficiency rating. Part of that means looking for the ENERGY STAR seal. But you’ll also want to compare AFUE ratings or HSPF ratings for heat pumps, something a technician can help you out with.

Get help picking out your heating system in Minneapolis, MN by calling VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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