If you need to put heating equipment in your home, you may not need to rely on a standard electric or gas furnace. Talk to a heating contractor to see if other options might be suitable and affordable. Here are some heating options that you might want to consider.
1. A Heat Pump
A heat pump is sometimes a good option, especially if you want to eliminate ducts. A mini-split heat pump doesn't need ducts, and a condenser outside with a blower on the wall can both heat and cool a room in your home. You might need additional blowers for other rooms in your house.
If you have ducts and want to keep them, you can have a heat pump installed that uses ducts rather than blowers on the wall. Both of the heat pump options use refrigerant to heat your home in the winter through the use of a reversing valve.
2. Electric Baseboard Heaters
Electric baseboard heaters are similar to space heaters, except they can be installed permanently. You might use a baseboard heater for a room addition or for supplemental heat. If your home is insulated well, you might even want electric baseboard heaters to heat your entire house and put the heaters in your main rooms. These are installed close to the floor, so they aren't unattractive, but you might not want this type of heating system if you have small kids or pets that will bother the heaters.
3. A Boiler System
A boiler heats up your home by first heating water and then circulating it through your house via baseboard heaters, radiators, or radiant floor heat. A heating contractor can help you decide if radiant floor heat is a good match for the type of flooring you have. A boiler can produce both hot water and steam. Steam is often used for radiator heating while hot water is used for floor heating and baseboard heat.
4. A Forced-Air Furnace
After looking at all of your options and discussing them with a heating contractor, you may decide a standard forced-air furnace is still the right choice for your home. You can opt for a gas or electric furnace, and install it along with new ducts and a new air conditioner, or just install the new furnace by itself.
A forced-air furnace is a common option for homeowners, and you may feel more comfortable with this type of heating system if that's what you're used to owning. You may want to discuss possible upgrades with your heating contractor such as adding a humidifier or air purifier to your furnace when it's installed.