Heating System Installations
What does Custom Climates offer for Heating System Installations?
As a full service and complete heating and cooling company based in Southern New Hampshire, we can design, sell, install, and service all types of heating systems. Like most companies, we have our specialties and will try hard to explain the benefits of any given product compared to another. Please look at our product pages to see which products we prefer, why we chose to carry them, and what benefits they have to our customers.
What type of heating system do I have?
If your heat comes into the home through ducting and vents, then you likely have a furnace or heat pump for heat.
If your heat comes into the space through the floor getting warm or baseboards along the bottom of walls in the room, then you likely have a boiler system for heating.
There are a few exceptions for these but this covers 99% of situations here in New Hampshire.
What type of heating system do I want?
This is a question we get all the time and there are quite a few options and benefits for each option. We will try to go over the most common options and the most common information we offer for our customers to make an informed decision.
Boiler – Hydronic Air Handler
Hydronic air handlers provide heating that starts off as being produced by a boiler and then being circulated through a hot water coil of some sort to heat up the coil. The air handler then moves the air through ductwork throughout a space to transfer the heat from the coil into the air and then disperse into the space to provide the heat. Although not very efficient, it does have a benefit of keeping all the combustion that is generating the heat in one space in the home/building and the one source of heat (a boiler) can supply multiple air handlers in one building. These types of systems are very common in large homes/buildings with multiple duct systems needed to supply the entire building, as well as homes/buildings that need to have systems in places (such as an attic) where a fuel source such as oil is not able to be installed.
Boiler – Baseboard
Baseboard heating systems are very common in New Hampshire. Although nowadays people are finding air conditioning much more of a necessity than a luxury, baseboard heating systems were very commonly installed as the only source of comfort control in a home/building for many decades. Baseboard heating allows for the boiler to produce the heat and the circulate heated water traveling through piping throughout the space. These baseboards have “fins” that allow for more surface area and thus release that heat into the space. Baseboard heating is liked by most people that have it because, although it is less aesthetically appealing than small vents in a ceiling or floor and does not allow for the option of air conditioning, it does provide very comfortable heat. Baseboard heating can be more comfortable because it doesn’t have as much of an effect on humidity and air movement through the space as does a ducted or mini-split system.
Boiler – Radiant Flooring
This type of heating system works very similarly to the baseboard type heating system, however, this is far superior when it comes to the operating efficiency and comfort level. Radiant heating is typically installed in the floor of your space and allows the floor to get warmed up so as to then heat the space. The temperature of the water that circulates through the radiant is typically up to half the temperature needed for baseboard. To illustrate, how long do you need to leave a pot of water on the stove to have it heat up to the temperature you would use for a bath or the temperature to boil pasta. The bathwater would take far less time, and thus far less energy used to have the desired effect. This is the same for radiant flooring. It takes far less energy from the boiler to get the same amount of heating transferred into the space. When boiler makers advertise a certain efficiency rating on a boiler, they are likely doing the testing based on the lowest return temperatures and the lowest supply temperatures that they specify for that piece of equipment. This is typically only able to be produced in the real world by having a very high efficient baseboard installed, or through radiant flooring or radiant panels. Because radiant heat starts at your feet, the comforting effect is that people never feel drastic temperature changes from floor to ceiling. In New Hampshire, cold floors are a common issue and radiant flooring eliminates the problem.
Furnace – Ductwork
A furnace is a heating system that supplies heat through ductwork and venting. It heats air through a heat exchanger inside the unit. These systems are very popular as they allow for air conditioning to be added to the system. They also can be very efficient because they allow for full modulation of the heating being produced. Hot air furnaces can affect the humidity levels in the air and because of the way it moves air around a space it can have a tendency to dry out the space. Custom Climates always recommends a whole-house humidifier as an indoor air quality product for your furnace and duct system. These systems can be very low maintenance as well when being fueled by natural gas or propane.
Heat Pump – Ductwork
A heat pump is a very efficient heating system in general. Although a conventional heat pump system in New Hampshire isn’t a great idea, the equipment and technology has come a long way and can be a good choice for heating if supplemented with another piece of equipment for the extreme low temps. A dual fuel heating system has become very popular over the last decade or so in NH. This involves having a heat pump do the majority of heating in your home/building, typically being very efficient down to about 20 degrees F depending on what type of equipment is chosen. When the temperatures get low enough that the heat pump can’t efficiently produce the heat needed, a furnace or boiler would then turn on automatically to then produce the heating needed. Unless you choose a heat pump with a cold climate technology or install a dual fuel system, these are not a great investment in New Hampshire.
Ductless Heat Pump
Ductless heat pumps are quickly becoming the industry standard and the technology that most heating and cooling systems will employ. Ductless heat pumps can be extremely efficient depending on what type of equipment you choose. See our page on Ductless Heat Pumps for more information on this type of heating system.
A unit heater is typically fueled by gas, oil, kerosene, or electric. Unit heaters are one of the easiest, and in many cases, the least expensive way to get heating into a space. They also tend to be not very efficient and the least aesthetically pleasing. Unit heaters are commonly found in garages, porches converted for year-round, and apartments. Replacing these units is usually a straight forward and simple process, however, customers would be wise to at least consider the alternatives and potentially have an ROI by going with something more efficient or providing air conditioning.
Pellet stoves had their sharp rise during the late 2000s when the fuel price was so expensive people were looking everywhere for an alternative heat source or supplement. Pellets are generally low cost and provide a pleasant heat. The downside is that the lower cost pellet stoves tend to be very noisy and there is a substantial amount of physical work involved in keeping the heat going. In the right application, they are a good option, however, we would always recommend looking at a ductless heat pump as an option prior to this system.