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» Upgrading Old Equipment
» Glossary of Terms


Heating Basics

Electric Heat
Electric heat also employs a system of baseboard heaters. Electrical current flows through the coils, heating them up, providing a convective heat source. As with a boiler-based system, electric heat is clean and quiet, but suitable for heating only. However, rising electricity costs in many areas have made it an extremely expensive option. Many owners of baseboard electric heating systems are converting to forced air heating or hydronic baseboard heating.

Forced Warm Air
Furnaces heat air from inside your home, and recirculate it throughout the house using a network of supply air and return air ducts. Forced air furnaces also provide the means to clean, humidify or cool the air (central air conditioning). These are the most popular heating systems sold.

Hydronics
In hydronic heating, boilers circulate hot water or steam through a system of baseboard heating units, radiators, or in-floor radiant tubing. Baseboard units provide a combination of radiated heat from cast iron surfaces -- like the heat you feel from the sun -- and convective heat from copper fins -- heat that rises through the air. This configuration provides the most quiet, even, and clean heat available.

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