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The Basics of Home Heating Systems

The Basics of Home Heating Systems

How do Home Heating Systems Work?

There are three basic components to these systems: a source of warmed air, a way to distributing the air to the rooms being heated, and a thermostat to regulate the heating system. The source would be the furnace, and in houses, the distribution system is the duct system (in central systems). When something goes awry with any of these components, heating can be compromised.

Heating systems work on the idea that heat always moves away from a warm object towards a cooler one; while furnaces add heat to warm the air, air conditioners remove heat to cool the air. All heating systems burn fuel, most of which is gas or fuel oil – other systems use electricity. When your furnace kicks on, heat is produced as fuel is burned and is channeled to the areas of your home through your duct work or pipes.

Types of Home Heating Systems

There are different types of systems that are used in homes to heat them. Forced air systems are most popular in modern homes, which distribute the heat produced by the furnace through a fan, or blower, and forces air through ducts to home areas. As warm air enters rooms, the colder air in those rooms is forced out through another set of ducts, which is called the cold air return system.

Many problems with forced air systems often involve blower malfunctions – it can be noisy and decrease the efficiency of your system. Other systems include gravity systems for heating and radiant systems. Gravity systems work on the principle that hot air rises and cold air sinks. In a gravity system, the furnace is located at or below the floor, and warmed air rises and flows through ducts while cool air sinks through return ducts.

Radiant systems work by warming walls, floors or ceilings – radiators also work in a similar fashion. By warming objects in a room, whether it be a radiator itself or the walls, heat is released into those rooms. Some systems use special heating panels which run on electricity to produce this heat. Radiators and convectors in older homes are used with hot water heating systems.

Call EC&S for Furnace Repair

No matter what type of heating system you have in your home, it’s important that you understand the basics of how it works. Also, you need to be familiar with the way your system sounds as it’s running normally – that way, you’ll be able to notice by ear when something sounds abnormal, which could signal trouble. For help with your furnace maintenance, for repairs and anything else related to your heating system, be sure to call EC&S – the area’s trusted furnace repair service.


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