A Crash Course in Central Heating: How Does It Work?

Man thinking about how to solve his HVAC issues in Atlanta

Central heat keeps your home cozy in the winter. But how does central heating actually work? We promise it isn't magic, though it might feel like that at times. Here is what you need to know about how central heating works in your home.

It Depends on Your System

Not all heating systems are the same. In fact, there are two distinct types you are likely to see used for heating in Atlanta: furnaces and heat pumps. Neither is necessarily better than the other, but how they work and how your central heating system works will vary based on which type you have installed.

How a Furnace Heats Your Home

Furnaces are the most common type of central heating system. They work by burning fuel (usually natural gas or propane) to produce enough heat for an entire house. The resulting hot air is typically pushed through ducts throughout your home, where it warms up everything in its path. Furnaces generate a lot of excess heat that has to be vented out, but this helps to maintain the warm air as it passes through your home.

How a Heat Pump Heats Your Home

Heat pumps are much more energy efficient than furnaces. They use electricity from the grid to power an internal heat source that is used to heat up refrigerant fluid in coils or tubes throughout your house. This heat is then distributed throughout your home, which keeps it nice and warm. Heat pumps are much quieter than furnaces too, but they tend not to be as effective in very cold climates since the coil needs a constant supply of electricity.

Which Central Heating System Is Best for You?

In Atlanta, both furnaces and heat pumps are viable options. Furnaces are typically the most affordable option and heat pumps can be an expensive renovation. Either way, you will want to get in touch with a professional heating contractor for regular maintenance and repairs on your unit.

There Are Other Options Too!

If you aren't sure how central heating works or how it's different from other methods of heating (like electric heating), you should talk to a professional. At Moncrief Heating & Air Conditioning, we can walk you through all your options, helping you determine which best fits your home and meets your needs. In addition to serving as your buying guide, we can also install and maintain any heating system for you.

For more information on heating and cooling, read: How Does My HVAC System Work?