For the basics of heating or cooling temperature control, you have four system options. Below is a list of those options followed by the approximate percentage of U.S. homes using that particular system:
- Gas Furnace/air conditioner (60% of homes)
- Gas Heat Pump (25% of homes)
- Gas Small Packaged System (5% of homes)
- Gas Boiler
There are other accessories you may want to consider to determine what system works best for you. Air cleaners, ventilators or a whole house humidifier may be useful.
System control is another factor when choosing a home heating system or central air conditioning. This involves being able to maintain a comfortable temperature, manually or automatically, to keep the home consistently comfortable with changing physical or environmental fluctuations.
To choose a heating and air conditioning system, you also must assess your current system. The three most likely energy sources for your comfort system are electricity, gas or oil. Here are some options based on your energy source.
If you have no gas or oil service, you will need to go with an all-electric system, which means a heat pump or air conditioner. You may be able to have a gas line installed at your home, but that could be an additional cost. In some areas, electrical rates are so low that an all-electric system can still be the best option even if gas or oil are available.
If natural gas is available, furnaces and boilers become options for you. You may still opt to have an all-electric system if that suits your home or your personal preference.
If oil is available, furnaces and boilers are also options for you. However, you can switch over to an all-electric system to better fit your needs.
Everybody's home is different. Some are big, some are small. Older homes are not as tightly sealed as new ones, which means efficiency is reduced. The number and size of windows, what direction the home is facing, number of mature trees in the yard and many more factors can affect your comfort, and may play a part in deciding what type of system is best for you. An Thornton & Grooms specialist has the expertise to assess any unusual circumstances surrounding the specific needs of your home.