5 Types Of Home Heating Systems & Which Is The Best

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Heat during Minnesota winters isn’t just about comfort — staying warm in your home is a matter of safety. But, there are many heating systems available with different versions, so which is the best for your home? Bloomington Heating & Air has put together this list of different types of heaters and some of their pros and cons to help you make the best choice for your home.

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Many homes in northern regions rely on furnace heating systems to keep their homes comfortable during the winter. Furnaces work by heating registers or grills with electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil. Air is then blown over these heated surfaces, heating the air, which is then distributed through the ductwork. Both gas and electric furnaces have their fair share of pros and cons, so it’s best to discuss what’s right for your home and budget with a professional HVAC technician. If you’re considering a new furnace installation, be aware of the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace will be.


Unlike furnaces, boilers use heated water to control the temperature in a home, which is circulated with a pump through pipes and into radiators. The radiators, which may be located in flooring or on wall units, then “radiate” the heat out into a room. Boilers are usually more energy-efficient than furnaces but are slower to react, harder to install, and harder to convert to other systems later. While boilers don’t have the risk of a gas leak like gas furnaces do, a water leak can cause costly damage to your home’s infrastructure.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are popular for certain HVAC systems where the heat pump pulls air from the home and releases it outdoors during the hotter months and pulls air from the outdoors and releases it into the home during the colder months. An effective system for more temperate climates, heat pumps are not a good choice for homes in the North, where temperatures can drop much lower.

Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters allow for direct temperature control, which is perfect when you only want to heat one area instead of a whole home. However, when selecting a space heater, consider the size of the space you need to be heated and find a heater that has been rated for that size area. Additionally, space heaters aren’t necessarily the most energy-efficient because of their limited function. These heaters are best used when the need for heat is intermittent, such as in the fall or spring.

Wood-Burning & Pellet Stoves

Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can really heat an area, but pollution from the smoke can be hazardous. Additionally, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces will need to be cleaned out annually to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Pellet stoves can be safer, cleaner, and allow for more temperature control but can be more expensive than buying or chopping your own wood. Like electric space heaters, stoves and fireplaces are best used intermittently and should not be your primary heat source.

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