The majority of Maryland homes depend on a central furnace to provide heat. A furnace works by blowing heated air through ducts that deliver the warm air to rooms throughout the house via air registers or grills. This type of heating system is called a ducted warm-air or forced warm-air distribution system. It can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil.
Inside a gas- or oil-fired furnace, the fuel is mixed with air and burned. The flames heat a metal heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to air. Air is pushed through the heat exchanger by the furnace fan and then forced through the ductwork downstream of the heat exchanger. At the furnace, combustion products are vented out of the building through a flue pipe.
Heating system controls regulate when the various components of the heating system turn on and off. The most important control from your standpoint is the thermostat, which turns the system — or at least the distribution system — on and off to keep you comfortable. A typical forced air system will have a single thermostat. But, there are other internal controls in a heating system, such as “high limit” switches that are part of an invisible but critical set of safety controls. The best gas furnaces and boilers today have efficiencies over 90%.
Heat pumps are just two-way air conditioner. During the summer, an air conditioner works by moving heat from the relatively cool indoors to the relatively warm outside. In winter, the heat pump reverses this trick, scavenging heat from the cold outdoors with the help of an electrical system, and discharging that heat inside the house. Almost all heat pumps use forced warm-air delivery systems to move heated air throughout the house. Most heat pumps installed today are air-source heat pumps that use the outside air as the heat source in winter and the cooling source in summer. Because electricity in a heat pump is used to move heat rather than to generate it, the heat pump can deliver more energy than it consumes.
Boilers are special-purpose water heaters. While furnaces carry heat in warm air, boiler systems distribute the heat in hot water, which gives up heat as it passes through radiators or other devices in rooms throughout the house. The cooler water then returns to the boiler to be reheated. Hot water systems are often called hydronic systems. Residential boilers generally use natural gas or heating oil for fuel.
Are you replacing or repairing your heating system and confused about which type of furnace, heat pump or heater to purchase? Let us guide you through the process. We will explain the systems in terminology you will understand. Heating system selection can be complex with so many brands, models, and efficiencies to choose from. Our comfort advisors will educate you about a furnace, heat pump or heater NOT sell you a new heating system. When it comes to keeping your family comfortable, Contemporary Air Systems cares. We care about your comfort level and your budget!
As a Contemporary Air Systems customer you do not have to worry about understanding these types of heating systems, you simple have to call us and we will discuss your current system and what your best options are for repairing or replacing it! Contact Us today or call (410) 391-3070 and let our comfort advisers educate you. We don’t sell comfort, we educate our customers about comfort and the choices available in equipment selection.