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Understanding the Common Types of Central Heating Systems

If you’re purchasing a central heating system for your home for the first time, the large number of options to choose from can be overwhelming. In addition to the huge array of different brands available on the market, choosing between the different types of heating systems can be the cause of some confusion as well.

Before you seek HVAC and plumbing services, let WM Buffington Company explain your basic choices:


Of all central heating systems, furnaces stand out because of their affordability. Since they can run on different fuels, it’s easy to find a furnace that’s compatible with the fuel that’s most widely available in your area.

The best energy-saving furnaces in the industry have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 98.5%. In other words, these units convert 98.5% of the fuel they burn into heat and waste only 1.5%.

Generally, furnaces have a reputation for being loud because of the blower fan, but recent advancements in design have made modern models much quieter.

According to experts in HVAC and insulation installation services, like WM Buffington Company, a furnace can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.


Unlike furnaces that produce warm air, boilers heat water to regulate the temperature of different rooms. Since these heating units don’t depend on ducts, they also don’t distribute pollutants and allergens, which results in better indoor air quality.

Like furnaces, high-quality boilers have an AFUE rating of 98.5% and can last up to 30 years. To get the most out of zone heating, buy a boiler to distribute heat to select rooms.

Heat Pumps

Unlike other systems, heat pump systems can provide both heating and cooling. They're best suited to moderate climates because of the fact that they move heat from a warm place to a cool one, and vice versa.

If you don’t have ductwork in place, a heat pump may still work for your house since it’s compatible with other distribution systems. Heat pump installation can be a costly proposition, but one which will pay for itself over time with great energy savings and generally low maintenance requirements.

Let WM Buffington Company help you narrow down your best options and make a sound decision based on your unique situation. Call us at (717) 609-4020 or fill out our contact form to schedule your appointment. We serve clients in Harrisburg, PA, and neighboring communities.

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