What are integrated heating systems? A combination, or integrated, heating system is one that provides domestic hot water and heating from one source. The fuel for the heat source could be gas, oil, or, electric. The heat source itself is either a hot water heater or solar panel. The most common is a gas or oil fired water heater connected to a combination air handler.
The system works via a room thermostat controlling a circulating pump that calls on hot water from the tank. Cool house air then passes over hot water in the air handler’s coil producing an even heat through the home’s ductwork.
Some typical advantages to integrated heating systems include:
- Only one heat source to install and service
- Water heaters are often less complicated and more reliable than furnaces
- Much less expensive to install than a water heater and mid-efficiency furnace when the cost of venting is considered
- Additional zone/area heating can be installed and controlled by a separate thermostat
- Cheaper to operate than separate, or traditional, forced air furnace and hot water heater systems
- Quieter than furnaces
Aside from using and air handler or forced air system, the domestic hot water heater can used with other heat delivery systems such as hydronic baseboards, ceiling radiant panels, baseboards, and, in floor radiant systems.