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What’s the Best Heating System for Maine?

What’s the best heating system to have installed for living in Maine?

When you live in Maine, your heating system is very important for your safety as well as your comfort.

We get asked a lot, “What’s the best heating system to have in Maine?” While there isn’t a definitive answer to this question – it really depends on your individual circumstances and needs, we thought we’d give a rundown on the main types of heating systems available for your Maine home:

Hot Water Boilers

Forced hot water boilers heat water inside the unit and pump it throughout your home via a system of pipes and/or PEX tubing. The heated water is distributed by either circulator pumps or zone valves. Heat is dispersed in various areas of the house through standing or baseboard radiators, fin baseboards, or radiant heating tubing.

Advantages to Boilers:

  • Provide even heat
  • Create little to no drafts
  • High Efficiency
  • Lower Energy Costs
  • Typically require less maintenance than other systems

Disadvantages of boilers:

  • More expensive than furnaces to install
  • Boilers can leak if not maintained
  • Difficult to convert to another heating system later

Hot Air Furnaces

A forced hot air furnace works by blowing heated air through air ducts to deliver warmed air to rooms throughout the building via air registers. Furnaces can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil.

Advantages to Furnaces:

  • Furnaces are typically less expensive equipment
  • There is no water to leak
  • They are easy to install

Disadvantages of Furnaces:

  • Poor air quality
  • Less efficient than boilers
  • Duct installation is very destructive to buildings

Heat Pumps

Extremely energy efficient heat pump technology offers central heating and air conditioning from one unit. Heat pumps move heat from one place to another, moving heat out of your home in warm months, and pumping heat into your home when you want it warmer. Because heat pumps move heat rather than generating it, it uses much less energy than a conventional oil or gas furnace or boiler system. Requiring an outside unit called the condensing unit, the heat pump air handler unit inside the house delivers the heat or cooling. There is no destructive installation of ductwork or piping throughout the house.

Heat pumps save homeowners an estimated 30-50% annually in energy costs.

Advantages to Heat Pumps:

  • Extremely energy efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Lower utility costs
  • Rebate incentives offered by Efficiency Maine

Disadvantages of Heat Pumps:

  • More expensive than furnaces or boilers to install
  • May require more than one unit or inside air handler
  • Visible from the outside of the building

Radiant Heating

Typically installed beneath flooring materials, radiant heating is a great heat option to pair with a forced hot water boiler. You can enjoy warm floors to walk on, and even heated racks to warm bath towels. Since radiant heating works from the ground up, heating is very even and consistent. Because the tubing is installed beneath the flooring and behind walls, it’s virtually invisible so it’s very aesthetically pleasing.

What type of heating system is right for you depends on a number of factors:

  • New construction versus retrofitting a system in existing home
  • Fuel source type
  • Preferred delivery method (ducts, radiators, “invisible” radiant)
  • Building design and room layout
  • Desired energy efficiency
  • Heating and cooling needs
  • Budget

No matter what type of heating system you have, you should have it inspected and cleaned every year to make sure that it is running properly and efficiently. This will ensure it runs when you need heat, is safe for you and your family, and will extend the life of the system.

Maine Heating Installation

For more information on all heating options for your home, 207 Plumbing & Heating is here to help you! Please contact our experts today.