Most New U.S. Homes Have Forced-Air Heating & Cooling Systems, Claims SBI04 Jan 2013 • by Natalie Aster
Two types of heating systems are most common in a new home: forced-air or radiant, with forced-air being used in the majority of the homes. The heat source is either a furnace, which burns a gas or an electric heat pump. Furnaces are generally installed with central air conditioners. Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling. Some heating systems have an integrated water heating system.
According to the report “HVAC, 3rd Edition” by SBI most new U.S. homes have forced-air heating and cooling systems. These systems use a central furnace plus an air conditioner, or a heat pump. In a typical system, several of these components are combined into one unit. Forced-air systems use a series of ducts to distribute the heated or cooled air throughout the building. A blower, located in a unit called an air handler, forces the conditioned air through the ducts.
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Radiant Heating Systems combine a central boiler, water heater or heat pump water heater with piping, to transport steam or hot water into the living area. Heating is delivered to the rooms via radiator systems, such as radiant slabs. Radiant systems are typically quieter than forced-air blowers and offer increased comfort at lower air temperatures. However, these systems are more expensive to install than forced-air systems and are more difficult to install in homes with more than one level.
A heat pump is a machine that transfers heat to and from a source by employing a refrigeration cycle. Although heat normally flows from higher to lower temperatures, a heat pump reverses that flow and acts as a “pump” to move the heat. The heat pump transfers heat to a space to be heated during the winter and by reversing the operation, extracts heat from the same space to be cooled during the summer. The heat pump is designed to move heat from one fluid to another. The fluid inside the home is air and the side is either air (air-source), or water (geothermal).
More information can be found in the report “HVAC, 3rd Edition” by SBI.
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