Contents: Issue # 4: Heating Systems
The Basics: Terminology, Comfort &
Heating System Sizing & Operating Costs
Forced Air Heating Systems
Electric Heating Systems
Radiant Heating Systems
Hot Water (Hydronic) Heating Systems
Heat Pumps & Geothermal Systems
Other Info Sources
1. The Basics: Terminology, Comfort & Thermostats
Glossary Of Terms
The heating industry has its own weird words and jargon.
You should be able to find the meanings to any of them in this
big easy to use glossary from Trane
Thermal Comfort: What Causes Comfort & Discomfort?
The main purpose of a heating system is to make people
comfortable. Easier said than done. Here is a good overview
of the various factors affecting comfort. It will help explain
why you can't always satisfy everybody. More good pictures!!
How They Work & Other Info Sources
Some form of thermostat controls every heating system.
This site explains how one of the most common units works. For
links to other sources of thermostat information click "Search
Google" near the bottom of the Table of Contents.
2. Heating System Sizing & Operating Costs
A heat loss calculation is required to properly design heating equipment. If not
properly sized the systems will cost more to operate and have problems
maintaining good comfort levels. This quick online form calculates
approximate heating requirements for one room, in a climate similar to
Manual J Form
A much more detailed calculation should be completed to properly size
a full system. You may want to ask your heating contractor to provide
you with one. This Manual J Form shows types of detailed information
that are required.
Comparing Annual Heating Costs With Different Fuels
Do you want to compare the operating costs of different systems? This site from
Natural Resources Canada has all the info you need, for both new and
3. Forced Air Heating Systems
For beginners, this site provides a simple overview and diagram of a basic forced air
heating system in a small home.
Mid- and High-Efficiency Furnaces and Boilers
This Canadian site has more detailed information and drawings of mid
and high efficiency furnaces.
Combination Space and Water Heaters
For smaller loads, Combo heaters provide space and water heating using
the same heat source. This Advanced Buildings site provides a good
overview and list of manufacturers.
TECA, the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association, is a BC trade association serving
the residential heating industry. They have developed design and installation standards
called Quality First Forced Air Heating Guidelines and deliver training
courses around the province.
4. Electric Heating Systems
Heating With Electricity
This site gives a brief overview of the different types of electric heating systems, and
some energy saving tips. Click on the first PDF link to view drawings
of different systems.
Electrical Systems And Products
If you want information on electrical systems and products contact the
BC Electrical Association. They offer information services and promote
the electrical industry in BC.
5. Radiant Heating Systems
There are a number of different ways radiant floor heating systems
can be installed. This excellent site of the Radiant Panel Association
explains each, with pictures.
Also from the RPA, here is a good overview of electric radiant
heating methods, as well as a list of suppliers.
Have questions about radiant heating and hardwood floors, oxygen
in the tubing, leaks, etc? Again the RPA has good resources
to answer these and other questions
6. Hot Water (Hydronic) Heating Systems
Here is a basic glossary of terms from Burnham boilers.
Heating Q & A
Dan Holohan is considered a leading industry expert in hot water and
steam heating. Take a look at this Heating Q & A section and you'll
see why. Some nice simple drawings!!
The Residential Hot Water Heating Association of BC, now TECA
is our local hydronic heating trade association. They developed
design and installation guidelines that are used in training courses
around the province.
7. Heat Pumps & Geothermal Systems
Heat Pump Technology
Heat pump technology and different systems are described at this site of the International Energy Agency.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal, or ground source heat pumps are explained at this site of
the Geothermal Heat& Pump Consortium.
8. Stoves & Fireplaces
Stove And Fireplace Glossary
Here is a glossary of terms used in the stove and fireplace industry. This Hearth
Patio & Barbeque Association site also has as a brief description
of the various products and tips.
The Hearth Patio & Barbeque Association of BC is the local trade
association representing this industry. They have an annual trade show
and offer several training courses.
9. Other Info Sources
Heating And Cooling
Online information booklets on various heating & cooling
systems are viewable for free at this Canadian site of the Office
of Energy Efficiency. Click on the "HTML" link.
Oikos Heating Book
Heating Systems For Your New Home is a great book written by
respected local publisher Richard Kadulski. You can take a look
at the Table of Contents and order the book at this site.
Or you can order it direct from Richard for $19.95. Call him
at 604-689-1841, or e-mail him at email@example.com
Want to ask questions or review discussions on HVAC topics?
Try this discussion board at HVAC-Talk
Dittie For Today:
Meet One Of These?
Sometimes when you look in his eyes you get the feeling that someone
else is driving.