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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Common Types of Heating Systems and How They Work

Our world swims in new technological developments—and this applies as much to home comfort systems as to anything else. When you are looking for a new heater for the upcoming cooler months, you’ll find yourself with a possibly bewildering array of options to choose from: old systems with advanced technology, and new systems that have only recently entered residential use.

Saddleback Plumbing is here to help you navigate your choices for heating in Tustin, CA. Here is a short list of common types of heating systems—all of which we install—and their basic operation.


This is the oldest type of system, although the current models are nothing like the old-fashioned furnaces of fifty years ago. A furnace heats air inside a cabinet using one of a variety of fuel sources (natural gas, electricity, and propane are the most common). Once the heat is transferred to the air, blower fans send the warm air through ducts into your home. This is called “forced-air” heating. Check out our furnace installation service.


Boilers do not rely on forced-air, but instead circulate water around a home to various endpoints that radiate heat into rooms. This is called “hydronic” heating. Boilers heat water inside a main tank, and can use electricity, natural gas, or oil as a fuel source to generate heat. A pump then sends the hot water through pipes to the end points. Afterwards, the cooled water returns to the tank. Check out our hydronic boiler system service.

Heat pumps

These are essentially central air conditioning units that can reverse the process of heat exchange so that in addition to moving heat from inside and releasing it outside, it can draw heat from outside and move it into your home to provide warmth. Heat pumps run on electricity. Check out our heat pump installation service.

Hydronic floor systems

This is one of the newest systems to enter homes. Using water from a boiler, heated water moves through pipes that are placed 1 to 4 inches beneath the floorboards of each room in your house. The heated floorboards then radiate the warmth into the rooms. Check out our hydronic floor system service.

We hope this list gives you a push toward thinking about what heating system will work best for you. However, you will eventually need professional advice, as well as installation. Each system has advantages and disadvantages, and it requires an expert to match one to your home so you get the most efficient and effective heating possible.

Contact Saddleback Plumbing, where we’ve kept up-to-date on HVAC technology since we started in business in 1981. We can deliver you top-quality heating in Tustin, CA.

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