What Are Common Types of Heating Systems?

Heating is important for any building that faces cold temperatures, allowing for individuals to be more comfortable while also protecting cold-sensitive appliances and equipment. Heating systems can come in a variety of types based on the building or application in question as well as the particular needs of the space. In this blog, we will discuss some of the primary types of heating systems, allowing you to find a best fit for your individual needs.

  • Furnaces

Furnaces are extremely common for the central heating systems of households. Furnaces create heat through the burning of fuel and air mixtures, and a metal heat exchanger serves to absorb heat from flames in order to safely transfer it to air. Once heat has transferred through a heat exchanger with the use of a fan, the heat will then be directed through ductwork before being delivered to a room using air registers or grills. With a chimney, the byproducts of combustion can be expelled, though inducers may be used to reduce waste as exhaust is pulled through the heat exchanger with a fan. With the addition of a safety controller, limitations are placed on the furnace for protection. Depending upon the furnace, the source of power may be electricity, natural gas, or a fuel oil.

  • Boilers

Boilers are a type of special-purpose water heater that utilizes heat from a furnace to increase the temperature of hot water. As the water is transported throughout a building and through radiators, heat from the water will be taken in order to warm a room. Once all the water’s heat is spent, it will return to the boiler so that it may be heated once again. Pumps are important for the functionality of boilers, allowing for fluids to efficiently move through pipes. In some state-of-the-art configurations, hot water may be forced through plastic pipes below a floor so that they can act as radiant floor heating. In order for the boiler to efficiently function, it relies on a system of valves, aquastats, and thermostat heating supplies.

  • Heat Pumps

Heat pumps serve as a two-way conditioner, and they are used to supply a building with hot air that has been taken from the outside of a building. With the use of an electrical system, heat pumps will take in cold outdoor air and create heated air that can then be delivered into rooms. Generally, heat pumps will always use forced warm-air delivery systems in order to efficiently transport heated air throughout a building.

Air-source and ground-source heat pumps are the two primary types, and each provides its own benefits and downsides. Air-source types utilize outside air during colder months and a heat sink in hot months. With the ground-source heat pump, heat is taken from the earth which can provide more consistent temperatures regardless of the time of year. Ground-source heat pumps also may use either a refrigerant or drawn-in ground water for heat management. While the ground-source heat pump is more efficient for treating air and thus is more sustainable, they can often be much more expensive. As such, the air-source heat pump is the most common type found within buildings.

  • Electric Space Heaters

When a more portable solution is desired, electric space heaters are a cheap option that transform electricity into heat in the same way that a clothes iron or toaster functions. Due to its method of operation, a portable electric heater can be more costly to use than other types and will often be more of a solution for when establishing a central heating system is too costly. When utilizing any electrical method for heating a space, it is important to have a circuit breaker and protective equipment in place to prevent dangerous overload conditions.

  • Gas-fired Space Heaters

Gas-fired space heaters are widely used in some areas, and they can be mounted on walls, installed on the floor, or be a standalone system. For all gas-fired space heaters, no ducting is present, and thus heating is minimal. As a result, such heaters are intended for heating a single room. In more complex variants, sealed combustion air systems may be used to transport heated air and exhaust throughout pipes so that more rooms can be treated. Generally, the common materials used for burning include natural gas, propane, and kerosene.

With the various types of heaters and heating supplies available, increasing the temperature of a building or room can be easily achievable. At Industrial Gamut, we serve as a trusted supplier for all types of heating system components as well as other industrial products and equipment. With over 2 billion new, used, and obsolete items readily available for purchase, we invite you to peruse our expansive part and manufacturer catalogs at your leisure. When you are ready to begin the purchasing process, you may utilize our RFQ service to receive competitive quotes for your comparisons. Get started today and see what Industrial Gamut can do for you.


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