Types of Heating Systems For Your Bloomington, MN Home

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Living without heat isn’t an option in Bloomington, MN. Not only is a cold home a comfort issue, it can quickly cause health issues for people. But with so many heating options to choose from, how can you choose the right one for your home? Bloomington Heating & Air goes over the three most common types we see in homes and offers advice on how to choose the the right heating system for your lifestyle. And as always, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or to schedule an installation appointment!

Central Heat

Central heating systems come in several forms, but they all heat a home from a central location. The three most common central heat options Bloomington, MN residents choose are a furnace or heat pump.


Most homes in Bloomington and throughout Minnesota rely on a furnace for the heating system. Whether it’s electric, gas, or oil-fueled, furnaces are popular because of their longevity – some models last more than 20 years with regular maintenance – and ease of installation. Installing a furnace generally takes less than a day and a new model can be seamlessly integrated with a home’s current ductwork.

Downsides to choosing a furnace are cost of the fuel source and for gas- and oil-fueled furnaces, additional venting and maintenance requirements. A furnace with a combustible fuel source must have proper venting and maintenance to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide in the home. Then, depending on the type of furnace, the annual cost to fuel it can quickly offset any savings in installation and efficiency during use.

Heat Pump

Think of a heat pump as an air conditioner working in reverse during the winter. Instead of pulling heat from your home’s air, it pulls even scant heat from the outdoor air and brings it inside through vents and ductwork. A heat pump comes in one of two forms, air-source or ground-source. Air-source heat pumps are the most common due to their affordability and ease of installation. On the other hand, ground-source, or geothermal, heat pumps are more efficient over the long-term because the earth’s ground temperature is more consistent than air.

Nonetheless, heat pumps are the most efficient in well-insulated homes. Air-source heat pumps also need larger radiators to distribute the heat, adding another installation component if the home doesn’t have radiators. Heat pumps also rely on a secondary heat source when the outdoor air temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Direct Heat

Direct heat isn’t necessarily a system, but the forms are found in many Bloomington homes. Fireplaces are the most common example of direct heat, followed by space heaters then wood-burning and/or pellet stoves. These heat sources directly heat the room or space they’re in, not an entire home. Though they offer flexibility for individual areas instead of mass heating as with central heating, direct heating requires multiple sources.

Radiant Floor Heating

Imagine feeling warmth under your feet with every step throughout your home. For homes with radiant floor heating, this is an everyday reality in the winter. The uniform heating is by far the biggest advantage to this heating system, along with its quiet presence. Unlike forced-air systems, you won’t hear radiant heating at work. Another advantage of it is its lack of impact on indoor air quality. Without vents and ducts, there’s no dust, pollen, and other allergens blown into your home.

But, radiant floor heating is best in new homes as it is challenging to retrofit current homes to the system. Flooring needs to be removed and reinstalled, causing major disruptions in your everyday life. Then, it’s dependent on a heater to supply the required heated water. Unless your home already has a heater for heating, you’ll have to install it along with the radiant flooring system.

Choosing A Heater In Bloomington

When it comes to choosing the right heating system for your home, the process goes beyond reading a handful of online reviews. Here are the five most common factors to take into consideration.


When you see the cost for a home heating system, don’t let the initial price tag deter you into a different system or model. Consider it an investment to yourself and your home, and with all investments, what the payback will be in both the short- and long-term.


All heating systems have efficiency or energy ratings. However, the working efficiency of any system will be affected by other factors such as insulation and ductwork in your home. To keep any system working at optimum efficiency, schedule regular maintenance appointments with Bloomington Heating & Air.

Size of System

Sizing a heating system to your home is difficult and can be counterintuitive if done incorrectly. The technicians with Bloomington Heating & Air take a number of factors into consideration when sizing a home heating system, including:

  • Local climate
  • The home’s size, shape, and orientation
  • Insulation levels
  • Window types and locations
  • Your lifestyle and heating preferences

Heating System Placement

The heating system has to go someplace in your home, so its size and relation to the home’s aesthetics have an influence on placement. Most homes have the furnace or heat pump in the basement or in a ground-level closet. Bloomington Heating & Air’s technicians recommend the best placement for both the system and your home prior to all residential heating installations.

Work With Bloomington Heating & Air

Of course, the best way to choose a heater in Bloomington is to work with Bloomington Heating & Air. Along with many years serving homeowners with high-quality maintenance and repairs, we also live here and know the importance of the right heating system. Our technicians work with you and your budget to find a system that will provide your home with many years of comfort. Contact us today!

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