How Do You Tell What Type Of Heating You Have?

There are many types of furnaces and heating systems out there, and it can be tricky to know which one you have. Here at Pacific Heating & Sheet Metal, we are experts in all types of heating, so we can help you figure it out.

Here are the type of heating systems that you may have at your home:

Radiant Floor Heating

If you have radiant floor heating, tubing is installed on your floor and hot water runs through it to heat your home from the ground up!

Types of radiant floor heating systems are:

  • Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating (water): Pipes are laid in a grid pattern underneath the floor.
  • Electric Radiant Floor Heating (electricity): Pads or wires are laid in a grid pattern underneath the floor.


A boiler uses hot water or steam to heat your home. If you have a boiler, it heats water and sends it through the pipes and then to radiators in your home. The radiators then release the heat into your rooms.

Types of boiler systems are:

  • Oil Boilers: Oil boilers will have a tank that stores oil. This type of boiler needs to be refilled periodically.
  • Electric Boilers: Electric boilers work similarly to a kettle – they heat water to produce steam.
  • Gas Boilers: Gas boilers use natural gas or propane to heat water and produce steam.

Forced-air heating system

A forced-air heating system is the most common type of heating system in San Luis Obispo, CA. It consists of a furnace that heats air and then blows it through ducts to your rooms. The air is distributed through vents in your rooms.

Types of forced-air heating systems are:

  • Electric Furnace: An electric furnace will have a large box with exposed wires and coils inside. The furnace will also be connected to an electrical panel.
  • Natural Gas Furnace: A natural gas furnace will have a pilot light and a gas line running to it.
  • Propane Furnace: A propane furnace will look similar to a natural gas furnace, but it will have a propane tank instead of a natural gas line.
  • Oil Furnace: An oil furnace will have an oil tank and an oil line running to it.

Geothermal Heat Pump

A geothermal heat pump uses the earth’s natural heat to warm your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Pipes are buried in the ground or inside your home, and a fan circulates air through them to either warm or cool your home, depending on the season.

If you are still unsure about what type of heating system you have, or if you need help with any repairs or maintenance, our team at Pacific Heating & Sheet Metal can help. Our expert technicians are trained in all types of heating systems and will be able to help you with whatever you need. Give us a call today at (805) 772-4404 to schedule a consultation for heating services in San Luis Obispo, CA.

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