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What Are My Heating Options?

March 4, 2022 | Blog

People tend to toss around words like “heater” and “furnace” interchangeably. However, some homeowners don’t recognize that the two refer to completely different systems, or that several other heating options exist.

To truly pick the best HVAC system for your home, it’s essential to understand the full range of heating services available. If you aren’t sure where to begin, Express Air Conditioning and Heating will walk you through the wide spectrum of heater types.

Until then, here are the very basics of heating systems and each option’s unique benefits:

Electric Heater

“Heater” is actually a catch-all term for all of the options listed here. However, the term typically refers to an electric heater. This system pulls air from your home into a heat exchanger. There, electric heating elements will warm the air to whatever temperature is set on your thermostat. A blower then pushes this air back through the ductwork into your room.

Electric heaters are extremely common, and their functions are simple, meaning these systems tend to cost less upfront. Furthermore, they technically contain no burning elements or combustible gasses, meaning they’re safe.

Forced Air Furnace

In these systems, the air is similarly pulled through ducts to a central heating unit. There, in the main furnace, propane or natural gas light burners. These burners serve the same role as the electric heating elements mentioned above.

Forced air furnaces are also common, as they tend to be very energy efficient and can heat homes at an incomparable speed.


Boilers may seem a little old-school, but they are still an effective heating option. Instead of relying on toasty air, boilers utilize pipes full of hot water or steam to warm nearby rooms.

Boilers can heat very specific zones of your home, unlike centralized systems. However, due to their complexity, boilers are often more expensive to install.

Radiant Heat System

Radiant heat systems use an intricate web of tubes to send hot water or electric heat through your home. While this system typically features a boiler, radiant heat is unique in that its pipes are under the floorboards.

Like the previous option, radiant heat allows you to warm a precise area. On the other hand, this system requires the most costly repairs if something goes wrong. If you choose radiant heat, make sure to find an HVAC team that offers honest, upfront pricing.

Geothermal Heating

If you’d like to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle, geothermal heating is your best bet. A geothermal unit pulls up hot water from ground wells, meaning it demands very little electricity.

Again, geothermal heating is exceptionally energy efficient, and homeowners typically see their utility bills plummet after they switch.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are yet another energy-efficient option. Rather than creating their own warmth with burners or heating elements, pumps work like a refrigerator. That is, using electricity, they pull warm air into a warm space, and push cool air into a cool space. As a result, toasty air gets even toastier.

While the simplicity of this process saves money, it also renders the system ineffective in seasons of extreme cold.

Schedule a Pensacola AC Consultation

Has a certain heating system caught your eye? Or are you overwhelmed by the options? Either way, Express Air Conditioning and Heating can offer personalized advice and help build the optimal system for your home.

Even after installing a new heater, our full range of heating services (including repair and maintenance appointments) will ensure your system stays in good health.

Schedule a consultation today with our dedicated Pensacola AC professionals.

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Our Customers in and around Pensacola know they can trust us with their households repair needs. You can be confident when one of our servicemen visits you house, you will receive top-notch, professional service that is second to one.

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