Skip navigation

Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc.
Quality Assured since 1998 - Family Owned & Operated

Serving all of Northern VA


24/7 Emergency Service Available


Identifying Your Home’s Heating System

What Kind of Heating System Do I Have?

As a homeowner, it’s important that you know what type of heating system you have in your home. Knowing what type of heating system you have ensures you can keep your machinery properly maintained, which extends its lifetime. It also lets you potentially lower your monthly heating costs.

We’ve compiled the five most common heating systems installed in homes to help you determine what kind of heating system you have. If you’re still not sure, Call Oasis today!

5 Most Common Home Heating Systems to Help You Determine Which Heating System is in Your Home


Commonly referred to as “forced air systems,” furnaces are the most common heating systems found in homes. Air is heated in the furnace using gas, electric, propane or oil and then distributed throughout your home using ductwork and vents. You can find your furnace in the basement, attic, crawl space or closet.

Heat Pumps and Geothermal Heating Systems

Heat pumps are generally found in moderate climates and use electricity to move heat through your house using ducts. Typically, these systems are split into two components, with one piece being inside and the other outside.

How to determine if you have a heat pump is by checking the label on the outside system’s metal housing component, which will tell you if it’s a heat pump. If you’re still unsure, search the brand name and model number.

Another type of heat pump is a geothermal system. Geothermal heat pumps use the temperature of the earth to heat or cool your home. The perks of a geothermal heating system is that it’s energy-efficient, quiet and has no harmful emissions.

Boiler Heating Systems

Boilers convert stored water to steam. The steam created heat your home using baseboard radiators, or “radiant” floor heating. Boilers, like a regular furnace, typically use a type of fuel. The fuel options for boilers are gas, electricity, propane or oil. In addition to generating heat for your home, boilers may also provide heated water.

Radiator Heating Systems

Radiators are typically found in older homes and are sealed metal containers. They often work with a boiler to heat your home — although some contain electric coils. Steam from the boiler circulates to the radiator, where the metal then heats up and radiates throughout the room.

Package Units Heating Systems

These systems include both heating and air conditioning units and are often installed on the roof of your home or on a slab to the side of your house. Packaged units use gas or electricity to heat and cool your home and have ductwork connected through the roof or exterior wall to distribute air throughout your home.

FAQ: Heating Systems

Q: How do I know if my heater is electric or gas? 

A: In order to tell if your heating system is electric or gas, check the front of your heating unit. Through the small window on the front of the heater, you should be able to see a blue flame glowing. Gas heating units use burners to produce heat. You can usually also hear the sound of the gas burner. Electric units do not have windows or make this noise.

Q: Does turning off heat at night save money?

A: It is recommended to turn your thermostat down 7-10 degrees lower then what you would normally have it set at during the day.

Q: Why is my house still cold even though I have the heat turned on?

A: If your home still feels cold in certain rooms even with the heat turned on, your home may be unevenly heated or there could be an issue with heating delivery overall. Contact us for heating repair services.

Q: Where is the heater located in a house?

A: If you have a furnace, it is typically located centrally in the home. Areas to check could be a utility closet, garage, attic or basement. If you have a heat pump, it would be located outside of the home.

Q: How do I know if I have forced air heating?

A: If your home has vents and ducts instead of baseboard heaters, radiant heat, mini-splits or a boiler than you probably have forced air heating. 

Call Us Today to Learn More About What Heating System You Have

To learn more about your home’s heating system or to seek out help determining what kind of heating you have, contact the professionals at Oasis Heating, Cooling & Refrigeration. With 35 years of experience helping the residents of Fairfax, VA, we can easily help you maintain your heating system and answer any questions.

Schedule your maintenance appointment today by calling us at 703-339-3877 or fill out our online contact form.

*Last Updated 06/16/2021

“Great timely service. Knowledgable and neat techs. Good value.”

“Would absolutely use their services again. Arrived on schedule.”

-Springfield, VA

Comments are closed.

Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration is currently OPEN and performing active measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for our workers and loyal customers. We hope that you stay safe and healthy during this time. Schedule A Service