When you think of a home heating system, you might think of central heat with large ducts running through the ceiling, but there are a number of energy-efficient ways to heat your home and make yourself more comfortable that don't use ducts at all. If you have limited space or want to work around ducts you no longer use, here are three types of heating systems you can install.
Radiant heating makes use of either wires or pipes of water or air installed beneath your floor, and occasionally in walls, that are heated to provide heat to the entire room. This requires raising the height of your floor a little, but overall, it takes up far less room than ducts. One major selling point for radiant heating is that it warms everything up evenly; when the heat is coming from panels in your floor and rising, there are no cold spots and no rooms that get more heat than others. As a bonus, radiant heating also tends to be more energy efficient than a standard central heating system, so you can save money over time as well.
One caveat is that installing floor panels can get expensive and inconvenient. Your flooring will need to come up wherever panels are being installed, and an electrician will need to either install a dedicated circuit for your panels or test if your current circuits can handle them.
If you want even more energy efficiency and built-in zoning, ductless heating is a good option. Rather than forcing air through ducts throughout your home, this system makes use of individual indoor units, typically one for each major room. These units often look similar to what you might install in a window, but they're all connected with lines that run through your walls and connect to a single condenser.
The good news, beyond being able to heat and cool each room to your ideal temperatures, is that this is also highly efficient. There are no ducts for air to travel through, so energy loss is very limited. The lines that connect every component in the system are small, allowing for their installation almost anywhere. The only thing you need is free wall space.
If you still like the idea of ducts, you can look at what's known as high-velocity heating. It runs on what is essentially the same system, but instead of using large bulky ducts, it uses much smaller pipes that run throughout the house. These pipes are small enough to fit in walls and under floors, which means you can run them basically anywhere. Their smaller size also doesn't mean less efficiency or heating capability; the pipes prevent more energy loss than standard ducts, and it's also easier to install multiple pipes in a single room because of how compact they are.
This is a good option for older houses, especially if you already have old ductwork installed that you have no use for anymore. This system can simply be installed around what you already have, making it very flexible while still being effective.
Contact a company like Scott's Heating & Air Conditioning Services for more information.