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New home-heating options

Use caution when adding on to home's duct system

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If you're remodeling or adding on to your home, one of the considerations you'll be facing is how to heat that new space. Options abound, from individual wall heaters to radiant floor systems, but if your home already has a central heating system, chances are that simply adding a new duct run to the existing system will be the easiest and most cost-effective choice. A central heating system is a very easy thing to visualize. A furnace uses electric coils or the combustion of fuel to heat the air within it, and a fan then pushes the warm air through a series of tubes, called ducts, into the individual rooms. As the fan pushes air out of the furnace, it also needs to draw more air in, so a return duct is also provided within the heating system. The return duct pulls air from the house and directs it back to the furnace, where it is re-warmed and redistributed in an endless loop. A furnace and duct system is a carefully designed arrangement. The furnace needs to be of sufficient size to...