types of heating systems

If you’re thinking about investing in a heating system, consider McCullough Air Conditioning and Heating for heater installation, furnace installation, heater replacement, and other HVAC services. Read on for information on different types of heating systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each system for your Okaloosa or Walton home.


A boiler is a common heating system that causes hot water or steam to travel through pipes that ends up heating your home. Keep in mind that boilers often come with a steep price tag to install and run the system. However, a benefit that often outweighs the price is that a boiler enables zoned cooling and heating.

Pros of a boiler are that it is more energy-efficient than standard heating systems because it heats water rather than air and it heats your home more evenly.
The cons are that it won’t cool down your house and water leaks can occur.


Furnace systems normally run on gas, but also run on electricity, oil, or propane. A furnace works by blowing hot air through air ducts to heat your home. Gas furnaces are often the best option for homeowners who want to use their air conditioner during the summer.

The pros of furnaces include cost-efficiency because they generally last 15-20 years, can improve your home’s air quality by installing a humidifier or air filtration system, and they quickly heat your home.
Cons include that gas furnaces can be dangerous as they can cause fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning and sometimes the thermostat can malfunction.

Heat Pumps

Often referred to as two-way air conditioners, heat pumps, move hot or cold air from inside to outside or from outside to inside your home.

During warmer seasons, a heat pump moves heat from inside the house to outside and in the winter months, it siphons heat from the cold outdoors and delivers it inside the house. It uses refrigerant and the house’s electrical system to transfer heat instead of generating it. Heat pumps can be very efficient home heating systems if used in moderate temperatures instead of temperatures that hit below freezing.

Pros are that it only requires one annual inspection, so they are low maintenance. Heat pumps are safer than combustion-based heating systems since they rely on electricity. The average life expectancy is fourteen or fifteen years.
Cons include high upfront cost, installation requires immense work and disruption to your home, and most have problems operating in cold climates and temperatures.


Many homeowners, especially those who reside in colder climates, have a built-in fireplace in their homes. This is only an efficient form of heating if you have a quality chimney damper, accompanied by a tight-sealing glass door, and consistent outdoor air.

If your fireplace is not partnered with the above add-ons, then it can be ineffective. To combust and dilute, fireplaces rely on trapping air from the room. It typically loses more heat than it provides because warm air travels through the system and needs to be replaced by cold air from outside.

Pros are that wood-burning fireplaces don’t require electricity, gas fireplaces produce more heat at a lower cost, and electric fireplaces provide easy installation and flexibility.
Cons are that wood fireplaces involve heavy construction to install, gas fireplaces require a gas line, and electric fireplaces produce the least amount of heat compared to others.

Which Heating System is Right for You?

The answer to this question depends on what you need as a homeowner.

If you have the budget to make an investment and you live in a place that experiences moderate temperatures, then a heat pump may be the right choice for you. If you are hoping to combat freezing temperatures with an evenly heated home, then a boiler may be most useful to you.

If you want better air quality and a longer life span, then a furnace may be a good option. If you aren’t looking for central heating throughout your home, then a fireplace of any kind may work best.

Contact Us

Whichever heating system you choose, depend on McCullough Air Conditioning and Heating for quality and prompt service. We inspect, repair, and install heaters, furnaces, heat pumps, and air ducts. Contact us today!