A Complete Guide to Heating Systems


As colder months arrive, homeowners share a common objective of creating a comfortable living space for their families and guests. Heating systems are one of the most essential components of maintaining comfortable homes.


Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. offers a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about the various heating systems we offer as well as the pros and cons of each.


A furnace is a heating system that generates heat to warm the air. The system blows air over a heat exchanger, thereby warming the air, which is then directed throughout the house via a series of ducts. 


Furnaces run on various fuel types, including natural gas, propane, and oil. These furnaces use combustion to generate heat that is added to the air. Electric models are also available, which use electricity to generate heat rather than combustion.


  • Furnaces are well-suited for large spaces, providing a comfortable living experience
  • A high-efficiency furnace can help lower energy bills and reduce the overall carbon footprint of a property. 
  • Gas furnaces provide a consistent and reliable source of heat, which is essential during colder winter months. 


  • Furnace installation can be expensive, and the cost depends on the size and type of furnace being installed. 
  • Furnaces tend to last only 15-20 years, whereas some other heating systems offer longer service life.


Boiler heating systems have been used for decades and continue to be a popular choice for many homeowners. A boiler uses water to conduct heat through a system of pipes or radiant floor heating. It heats water or generates steam, which is then circulated through the radiators or pipes. Boilers run on various fuel types, including natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity.


  • Boilers tend to be much quieter than other heating systems such as forced-air heating. 
  • They generally have a longer service life than furnaces, with many boilers lasting 20 years or more.
  • Boiler heating systems can offer zoned heating. This means you can control the temperature of each room or zone individually using the radiator, giving you greater control over your heating costs. 


  • A disadvantage of boiler systems is the upfront cost. They tend to be more expensive to install than other heating systems if piping needs to be installed or replaced. 
  • Because they use water, they can be at risk for leaks and other water-related problems.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a type of heating and cooling system that work by transferring heat from one space to another. They are an energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating systems that use fossil fuels. Heat pumps have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills.


  • One of the major benefits of heat pumps is that they are able to both heat and cool the home, making them a versatile addition to any household. 
  • Heat pumps are also more efficient than traditional heating systems, as they transfer heat rather than generating it. This results in lower energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 


  • Heat pumps may require a backup heating system in colder climates to ensure the home is always adequately heated.
  • The initial cost of installing a heat pump system can be more expensive than traditional heating systems, although the long-term savings eventually offset this expense. 

Ductless Mini Splits

A ductless mini-split is a heating system that operates without ducts. Instead, it’s designed to distribute warm air directly to individual rooms or zones throughout your house. 


The mini split system has two main components: an outdoor heat pump and one or more indoor air handling units. The indoor and outdoor components are connected by a conduit, which houses a power cable, refrigerant tubing, and a condensate drain.


  • Ductless mini splits are highly efficient and can be used to heat and cool individual rooms or entire buildings. 
  • The separate indoor units allow for precise temperature control in each room.
  • They require no ductwork, and installation is fairly quick compared to installing a central HVAC system with ducts.


  • Installing a ductless mini split system can be costly. Depending on the design of the system, multiple pieces of equipment will need to be installed.
  • Ductless mini splits require air handlers to be installed directly within living areas, whereas other types of heating systems are typically installed out of sight.

Radiant Floor Heating

Unlike traditional heating systems that blow hot air throughout a room, radiant floor heating systems radiate heat upwards to warm the room, creating a comfortable and even temperature. A network of piping is installed below the floor that circulates water warmed by a heat pump or boiler.


  • Radiant floor heating evenly distributes heat throughout the space, creating a cozy atmosphere without cold spots.
  • Radiant floor heating systems provide comfortable warmth without the noise and drafts that are often associated with traditional heating systems. 
  • Radiant floor heating systems are highly energy efficient, which means they can help to lower overall energy consumption.


  • Installation of radiant floor heating systems requires a complete overhaul of the floors, which makes them more costly than some other heating systems.
  • Radiant floor heating may take a while to heat a space, which can be a downside for homeowners who are looking for instant heating during extreme weather conditions. 

Which Heating Systems Are the Best Options for Your Home?

Choosing the right heating system for your home can be an overwhelming process. With so many types of heating systems available, it can be easy to feel lost in the sea of choices. 


At Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., we strive to make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Our team of experts is well-versed in the different types of heating systems available on the market today. 


From traditional furnaces to radiant floor heating systems, we can help you explore your options and find the perfect solution for your home – contact us today to learn more.