What kind of heating system do I have? That is an essential question, especially when the furnace isn’t working and you need heater repair. There are two typical kinds of furnaces. There’s forced air and there’s the boiler type.
How do you tell which you have? It’s pretty easy. If you have “registers” in each room that have warm air blowing out of them, that’s forced air.
If you have radiators, either freestanding or baseboard style, that indicates that you have a boiler
Another way to use boilers is radiant floor heat. That’s a lot of pipes that run through the floor and warm the floor up, which heats up the room. Very good, but expensive to install.
You can have warmth that’s not coming from a furnace. You could have electric baseboard heat. Or electric wall heating units. You could have a gas wall heater.
Next thing to determine is what fuel your heater uses. There are six typical kinds.
- Coal, not the typical, generally used with a boiler. If you have coal, you probably noticed.
- Electric heat is easy, but expensive. It’s the most costly heat source.
- Fuel Oil, If you’ve been in the house for a while then you will have filled a fuel oil tank. Generally used with a boiler.
- LPG or propane. That’s an above ground tank that gets filled from time to time. Generally country homes, with gas heaters that don’t have gas piped to the house use propane.
- Natural gas, or methane, that’s the gas that is piped to urban homes, It’s a very common way to heat homes. It burns clean, it’s relatively cost effective and it’s generally pretty trouble free.
- Wood, you probably noticed. You ‘d have a wood stove or a fireplace in the living room and a pile of wood outdoors.
That pretty well covers it, if you live in a house. It shouldn’t take too long to nose around and determine where the heat is or should be coming from.
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