Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

How to Compare Home Heating Systems

Whether you’re in the market for a new heating system or looking to review your current one, it’s important to have a good understanding of the different options available. Each system will have its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the different home heating systems, along with their pros and cons.

Forced Air

This is the most common type of home heating system. Air is heated in a furnace using different fuel sources such as oil, electricity, natural gas, or propane. The furnace blows the heated air throughout your home through ducts and registers.


  • It’s relatively cheap to install and repair.
  • It heats your home quickly and evenly.


  • Many models are not energy-efficient.
  • May move air noisily and distribute airborne contaminants around your house.


These systems use hot water to distribute heat throughout your home. The water gives up its heat while passing through radiators. Residential boilers are commonly fueled by heating oil or natural gas.


  • They are energy-efficient.
  • They are quiet.


  • They distribute heat unevenly.
  • They interfere with furniture placement.

Wood-Burning Stoves

Wood stoves heat a room or a small home by burning compacted sawdust, agricultural waste or special wood pellets.


  • They are inexpensive to use because wood prices are usually lower than electricity, gas, or oil.
  • The pellets burn with little pollution or waste.


  • Malfunctioning stoves can release dangerous pollutants.

Radiant Flooring

Radiant floors consist of tubes installed directly into them or below them. Hot water flows through the tubes and heats the floor, which in turn warms objects and people in a room.


  • It heats rooms evenly.
  • The floors are versatile and can be easily paired with solar systems, geothermal home heating systems, and several other options.


  • It’s costly to install and repair.
  • It’s not applicable in every home.

As you weigh the pros and cons of the different heating systems, you should also consider your budget as well as the availability of fuel sources. For more information on home heating systems, please contact us at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air. We serve the San Diego area.