Stay Warm Without a Furnace—Boilers & Heat Pumps Are Efficient Alternatives
We all heat our homes, but not everyone uses a furnace. Furnaces are forced-air systems that require ductwork—something that’s not available in every home, especially older or historic houses. In these cases, as well as for some new or renovated homes, boilers and heat pumps are great alternatives for efficient heat.
Boilers Are the Heart of a Hydronic Heating System
Once upon a time, most homes were heated by a steam boiler with radiators in every room. Boilers were common until central air conditioning became an option—then people needed ductwork for home cooling, and also connected a furnace to it for more efficient heat. Today, boilers have been reengineered to use hydronic heat from hot water instead of steam and the result is greatly improved performance—energy efficiency ratings from 80 to an amazing 98 percent, with these added benefits:
- Consistent, comfortable heat—hot water is circulated through piping to provide steady heat that rises slowly to warm things in your home, not just the air. In fact, the “warm to the touch” comfort of in-floor radiant heating is a huge factor in the return of boilers in modern homes—no more cold toes!
- Quiet operation—there’s no “whoosh” of forced air as it cycles on, and no blower running throughout the day and night.
- Cleaner air—oil or gas-fueled hydronic heat does not stir up and recirculate dust in your home, so it’s a smart choice for asthma and allergy sufferers.
- Balanced humidity levels—a boiler doesn’t move and dry out the air like a furnace, so you’ll have more comfortable humidity levels in winter.
- Hot water when you need it—adding a hot water storage tank to a high-efficiency boiler system is a great way to save energy and increase the amount of hot water available for baths, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and more.
If you have an older steam boiler that may need replacement, contact an expert like Gross Heating & Air Conditioning to see if it’s possible to convert to a high efficiency hot water system.
Heat Pumps Are a Comfortable Option, All Year Long
Based on the name alone, a heat pump seems like an obvious alternative to a furnace, but it’s more than that: it’s an all-in-one heating and cooling powerhouse that extracts energy found in outside air—no matter the season—to manage your indoor temperature.
Powered by electricity, a heat pump doesn’t actually generate heat. Instead, it contains a compressor that circulates refrigerant between the indoor unit (called an air handler) and the outdoor unit (the heat pump). Even in winter when the air is cold, the refrigerant absorbs a great deal of energy and releases it inside your home as heat. In summer, it absorbs the heat in your home and releases it outside to keep you cooler.
Trust a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer like Gross Heating to recommended the heating system that will help you stand up to Wisconsin winters. Just call us—our team is here to help you stay warm!