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What Type of Heating System Is the Best Choice for My Michigan Home?

Ehler’s Heating & Air Conditioning Can Help You Decide—Call (248) 579-2362!

With several different home heating system options, it can be difficult to fully understand the differences between them all—let alone know which one is the best choice for your particular situation.

Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the Livonia, Michigan area since 1961, so we’ve got plenty of insights from our decades of experience! We perform heating services (installation, repair, and maintenance) on all the systems described below.

How to Choose the Best Heating System

Have you been asking yourself “which heating system do I need?” Or are you not sure how to pick out the best heating system? Before we break down the differences between the different systems, it’s important to know that there is not necessarily a “best” heating system. Important factors like your house, budget, and climate play a role in determining which is the best fit for your situation.

These are important factors to consider as you read on about the different types of heating systems. And, since we’re based in Michigan, we will be writing specifically about the climate of our service area.

Do you need help choosing the best heating system for your home in the Livonia area? Contact us today to get advice or an estimate from our HVAC contractors!

Most Efficient Heating Systems

  • Mini-Split Heat Pumps – Mini-split heat pumps don’t create heat but rather collect and move it with refrigerant. These systems use inverter technology that adjusts heating and cooling capacity very precisely, so there is no overheating or over-cooling.
  • Standard-Split Heat Pumps – Standard-split heat pumps gather and move heat from one place to another. With these systems, only a small amount of power is needed to circulate the refrigerant that carries the heat.
  • Gas Furnaces – With gas furnaces, variable-capacity gas valves, secondary heat exchangers, and variable-speed blowers combine to produce efficient heating.
  • Gas-Fired Boilers – Gas-fired boilers use a secondary heat exchanger to take better advantage of the heat created.


Furnaces are perhaps the most common home heating system in the United States. They function by blowing heated air through a duct system. Typically, furnaces are referred to as “forced-air” heating systems. They can run on different types of fuel, with gas, oil, and electricity being the most common.

Today’s furnaces are more efficient than ever, and their operating cost largely depends on fuel and electricity prices. If you are installing a furnace, it is recommended to get a furnace with an AFUE rating of at least 80. The more efficient the system is, the more money you’ll save over the long run (but the upfront cost will be higher).

Key benefits of furnaces:

  • They are widely available.
  • Furnaces are increasingly more energy-efficient.
  • The duct system can also be used with an air conditioning system.
  • They can be retrofitted to clean the air in your home.

If your home does not have ductwork, a furnace most likely would not be an ideal choice. If you have a natural gas furnace, a leak could be dangerous. This risk can easily be minimized and monitored with consistent maintenance and carbon monoxide detectors, but it is worth noting.

If you’re interested in installing a furnace in your Livonia home,  contact us today.


It is common for boilers and furnaces to be confused for one another, but they are very different systems. Boilers heat water using natural gas, electricity, or propane (the water does not actually boil, though).

As opposed to furnaces using forced air through ductwork, most boilers move heat into your home through a radiant heating system like radiators, baseboard heaters, or aluminum panels in your floors, walls, or ceilings.

Key benefits of boilers:

  • They produce non-allergenic heat since ductwork is not used.
  • They are very energy-efficient.
  • They can be controlled room-to-room and take up less space than duct systems.

While their efficiency is comparable to a furnace’s, installation is typically more expensive. If you do not have ductwork, a boiler may be a natural choice for you.

Call us at (248) 579-2362 to schedule a boiler installation or ask any questions you may have.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps absorb heat from outside (usually from the air or ground) and then transfer the heat inside. This process can also be reversed to cool a home.

Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency; they do not create heat, they simply transfer it from one place to another.

Due to their efficiency, the cost of heat pump installation can be more expensive, but that is usually more than made up for in energy savings over time.

Key benefits of heat pumps:

  • They are highly energy-efficient.
  • The system doubles as a cooling system (no need for a separate air conditioning system).
  • It is a ductless option! That’s right, ductless or mini-split heat pumps do not require ductwork. This can be ideal for heating individual rooms (like additions), but it is also a viable option for heating your entire home.

However, heat pumps can be strained in extreme temperatures or can become inefficient when the temperature around the equipment is below 32 degrees.

If you’re looking for efficiency above all, a heat pump may be a good choice for you. Reach out to us if you’re interested in installing a heat pump in the Livonia, MI area.

Final Considerations for Choosing the Best Heating System

Whatever heating system you install, it’s essential that it’s sized correctly for your house. Too large and you’ll be paying more for equipment and installation than you should. Plus, it will use too much energy for the amount of heat you want produced. If the system is too small, then your house won’t be heated adequately and the system will have to constantly run to try to heat the whole home, which will increase heating bills.

Additionally, no matter what heating system you install, it is key to keep up with the maintenance required for your specific system in order to maximize the efficiency and life span of your system.

Contact Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning for Heating System Installation in MI

With decades of experience, our team can help you choose the best type of heating system for your home. We ensure proper system sizing and installation so your home will be comfortable during Michigan’s cold winters!

If you need a furnace, boiler, or heat pump in the Livonia, Michigan area and you’re not sure how to select the best system for your situation, give us a call today at (248) 579-2362!

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Customer Care

Lower Utility
Properly maintained systems use 10%-15% less energy.
Increased System Life Regular maintenance extends the life of your HVAC system.
Convenience We call you when it is time to schedule the maintenance on your system.
Peace of Mind A properly maintained system will help to avoid costly emergency repairs.

What our friends are saying

Starting with our estimate with Eric to our service technicians Dave and Rob. They are ultimate professionals. We had a new Carrier furnace and AC unit installed and we’re very pleased with the work. We can tell that they take pride in their work down to the smallest detail. They were on time, courteous, know... -Horace