Central Heating Systems

central heating systemsCentral heating systems make up the majority of systems you’ll see in a home, apartment, condo or town-home.  They consist of a heating unit that’s located in one place (typically a garage, basement, or crawl space), and distributes heat to multiple rooms throughout your home.

We break down central heating systems into three different types that make up the majority of the systems used today—although there are several additional options available.

If you have a system that’s not listed here, give us a call to get connected to a professional that knows more about your system.

Electric Furnaces

  • An electric furnace has an average lifespan of 20-30 years.  Although the upfront cost is less, electric furnaces cost slightly more to operate—but they aren’t as noisy as their gas counterparts.

Gas Furnaces

  • Although their average lifespan is 10-20 years, gas furnaces heat the home faster, and have lower operating costs than electric furnaces.  They do cost more to purchase and install, and there is a slight risk of issues with carbon monoxide.


  • Boilers are the most expensive option to purchase and install, but also have the lowest ongoing operating costs.  Since boilers don’t use air to heat your home, they help minimize some issues with allergens and dust in the air.

How Does A Central Heating System Work?

how-central-heating-worksHeating systems create heat by burning fuel—usually gas, heating oil, or electricity. Once the system is turned on, it burns fuel to heat up air or turn water into steam, which is sent through a distribution system and used to warm your home.

Central heating systems use several different methods to transfer heat throughout your house. Furnaces typically use a forced-air system, where air transfers heat through ducts and vents, or through a gravity system where vents are positioned high on the walls and the furnace is located at a lower point. Gravity systems allow hot air to rise and flow through the house, and the cold air to fall to the return air ducts to be re-heated.

Systems that have boilers heat water to create steam that is transferred as heat to radiators, radiant baseboards or piping in floors and walls. Boilers provide a very consistent, reliable heating system. They typically use natural gas or heating oil to heat the water in the system.

Which Central Heating System Is Best?

There are a lot of variables that need to be considered when you’re thinking about replacing or installing a central heating system.  The short list includes:

  • Are you interested in a system that can handle heating and cooling?
  • Where are you located?  Some regions of the US might need special considerations, like humidifiers or dehumidifiers.
  • Do you want to heat a single room, or your whole house?
  • How big is your home? Different size homes require significantly different systems.
  • What types of fuel sources are available in your home?
  • What’s more important—energy savings, the cost of the unit, or long-term cost benefits?

As you can see, these questions just scratch the surface. To get an accurate estimate on which system works best for you, we recommend talking to a professional in your area to help you through the process.

Get a free estimate on your central heating system today!

Pro_HVAC_Service_Logo_smallWhether you’re looking for a new system or replacing an existing heating system, Pro HVAC Service can help!  We’ll provide you with a free estimate on the installation or replacement of your system quickly and easily.

To get your free estimate, fill out the form to the right, or give us a call at (844) 769-5995.  Within minutes, we’ll contact you with a list of local HVAC Contractors that can help you.