A Primer on Heating Systems
You'll save money and stay more comfortable by matching the heating system to your climate, your house and your needs.
Synopsis: This is a guide to the basics of home heating systems, with clear explanations of how hot-air, piped hot water, and radiant floor systems work. Sidebars briefly discuss heat pumps and fuel choices while a glossary explains some of those mysterious acronyms that keep cropping up.
I learned to appreciate good heating systems at an early age — by growing up in a 1710 Pennsylvania log home that lacked one. I remember huddling around our oil-fired space heater on winter nights to soak up as much warmth as possible before dashing upstairs to the small corner room my brother and I shared. I even have a distinct — though no doubt exaggerated — memory of a particularly frigid winter night when firewood brought in at bedtime still had snow on it the next morning.
I still live in an old home, but I’ve worked hard to insulate and weatherize it against cold Vermont…