You’re probably familiar with traditional forced air heaters, but did you know there are a variety of electric heating options as well? While electric heaters may not make sense for all homes, they can be advantageous for homes with easy access to natural gas in addition to homes that have heating needs beyond what the existing furnace can provide.

At Island Heating & Air Conditioning, we carry an impressive lineup of electric heating options, including heat pumps and electric furnaces for Oak Harbor homes. If you’re interested in adding an electric heating system to your home, here are some of the best options to choose from.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces are similar to traditional gas furnaces except for one major difference: They’re powered by electricity instead of natural gas.

There are a few important benefits that a new electric furnace can provide your home. The most popular benefit is that electric furnaces don’t require a chimney or flue because the system doesn’t create harmful combustion gasses. That also means you don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide leaks or gas leaks originating from the furnace. In addition to improved safety, electric furnaces are typically cheaper to install because they don’t require integration to the gas line or chimney.

To heat up your home, the electric furnace moves air over heating elements via a blower. After the air is heated by the electric resistance coils, the blower forces it into the ductwork so it can be distributed throughout your home. While this is an effective way to heat your home, it’s not the most efficient because heat and energy are lost during distribution. Due to this inefficiency, we usually only recommend installing an electric furnace if your home does not have an existing fuel line.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a type of electric heating system that extracts air from the outside world and adjusts the temperature to match your thermostat. Heat pumps are a popular alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems because they can both heat up and cool down your home. In other words, they’re a furnace and air conditioner wrapped into one!

Heat pumps are available in two main varieties: compression heat pumps, which run on electricity, and absorption heat pumps, which have the flexibility to run on either electricity or natural gas. The right option for you depends on your home’s primary source of power. The system keeps your home comfortable by using electricity to either heat up the air via a heating element or cool down the air with refrigerant.

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient source of electric heat, then the heat pump is probably your best bet. Heat pumps use significantly less electricity than electric furnaces and electric resistance heating. Their low-energy profile means they’re cheaper to run than other electric heating systems.

Electrical Resistance Heating

Resistance heating is a type of heating system that uses electricity to heat up an element like a panel in the floor or ceiling. As the element heats up, so does the air around it. An additional mechanism like a fan is then used to evenly circulate the air around the room.

Some of the most common forms of electric resistance heating include baseboard heaters, radiant heaters, and electric wall heaters. As the name implies, baseboard heaters are located where the floor meets the wall. These floor-based units utilize a system of metal pipes and aluminum fins to transfer heat throughout your home.

Unlike traditional forced-air systems, baseboard heaters utilize a heating principle called convection. As the warm air in your home rises, cold air sinks toward the floor where it’s sucked up and heated by the baseboard heaters. This process repeats itself in an endless loop to ensure your home is consistently warm.

Radiant heating relies on a system of panels located in the walls or ceiling. As the panels heat up, they release heat into the air via infrared radiation. This is the same principle that causes the air around your stovetop or oven to feel warm to the touch.

Electric wall heaters are similar to radiant heating in the sense that they’re located in the wall, but they don’t rely on infrared radiation. Instead, they use a system of heating elements, reflectors, and fans to generate heat and circulate it throughout the room. The system is fully electric and is integrated with your home’s existing electrical system.

Quality Electric Heating Solutions

Still interested in upgrading your home’s heating system with an electric heating alternative? As you can see, there are a number of high-quality systems to choose from. While there are no right or wrong systems, the best option for you depends on your needs, budget and your home’s layout.

If you’re unsure of which electric heating system is right for you, our knowledgeable technicians are happy to help you decide. They’ve installed electric heaters throughout Oak Harbor for 35 years, and they’ll be able to determine which system best fits your home’s existing energy source, design, and comfort needs.

Island Heating & Air Conditioning also offers high-quality heating and cooling services for systems of all types, including repairs, maintenance, and installations. Call us today to learn more.

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March 19, 2020 12:38 am