The Best Heat for your Home

If you’ve spent any time living in Virginia you know by now Mother Nature doesn’t always wait until winter to bring us subfreezing temperatures. This means you’re usually not thinking about the condition of your home’s heating system until cold temperatures force you to use it. That’s the worst time to find out you’re in need of maintenance or repair.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your heating system, here is some information to help you learn about the options available to you.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps have become a very energy-efficient way to heat your home. They work by moving heat instead of burning fuel to generate it. A heat pump also works best in a moderate climate like we have in Virginia. Typically heat pumps last around 15 years with proper maintenance, but newer models can last an upwards of 25 years.


Many older homes still use boiler systems for heat. If maintained properly, they are very reliable and durable because they have fewer moving parts than newer heating systems. There are two types of boilers, steam and hot water — the main difference is the amount of energy used.

  • Steam – Steam boiler must use more fuel to heat water to a boiling level making them less energy efficient than hot water boilers. However, steam is more efficient when it comes to the transfer of heat. This makes steam boilers ideal for homes with poor insulation.
  • Hot water – Hot water boilers work by moving hot water through a network of pipes. While they may be up to 25 percent more energy efficient than steam boilers, hot water boilers may require extra accessories like an expansion tank, a circulator and a flow check valve. More accessories mean more maintenance.


The greatest benefit of a furnace is it will heat a home in any condition making it ideal for regions that experience extreme cold temperatures. They are also generally less cost up front than a heat pump. Furnaces work by blowing heated air throughout the house via a duct system. There are a few different types of furnaces including electric, natural gas and fuel oil systems.

  • Gas/oil furnace — Within a gas or oil-fired furnace, fuel is mixed with air and burned. The heat created is transferred to air which is then pushed through the ductwork.
  • Electric furnace – An electric furnace is similar to a gas or oil-fired furnace except it creates heat with electric heating elements. It works like a big hair dryer. It has a blower that draws air in where electric heat elements warm the air and push it through a system of ductwork.

If your heating system is in need of maintenance, repair or an upgrade the experts at Bradley Mechanical can help you. We have affordable maintenance programs that can extend the life of any heating system and also offer a variety of energy-efficient heating systems by Lennox. We’ve been keeping homes warm in Central Virginia for over 50 years. Give us a call today at (804) 748-6728.

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