Type of heating equipment most often used, ascertained for occupied units and vacant units. Vacant units are classified by the type of heating equipment available for use by the intended occupants or that used by the previous occupants if the unit is without heating equipment. This item was asked on a sample basis.
Steam or hot water system
A central heating system which supplies steam or hot water to conventional radiators, baseboard radiators, heating pipes embedded in walls or ceilings, heating coils or equipment which are part of a combined heating-ventilating or heating-air conditioning system.
A furnace which provides warm air through ducts (passageways for air movement) leading to the various rooms. Electric heat pumps are excluded.
A combination heating-cooling system with indoor and outdoor coils, a compressor, and a refrigerant to pump hot air in during the winter and cooled air in during the summer. The heat pump may be centrally installed with ducts to the rooms, or there may be individual heat pumps in the rooms. It may also be known as a reverse cycle system.
Other built-in electric units
Electric heating units permanently installed in the floors, walls, ceiling, or baseboards which are a part of the electrical installation of the building. (Electric heating devices that are plugged into an electric socket or outlet are not built in.)
Floor, wall or pipeless furnace
Three kinds of heating methods. The question does not distinguish between them. Floor furnaces are below the floor and deliver heated air to the room immediately above or (if under a partition) to the room on each side. Wall furnaces are installed in a partition or in an outside wall and deliver heated air to the rooms on one or both sides. Pipeless furnaces are installed in basements and deliver heated air through a large register in the floor of the room or hallway immediately above.
Lacking central heating system
Circulating heaters, convectors, radiant gas heaters, other nonportable room heaters that burn gas, oil, kerosene, or other liquid fuel, and which are connected to a flue, vent, or chimney to remove smoke and fumes.
Room heaters without flue
Any room heater (not portable) that burns gas, oil, kerosene, which is not connected to a flue, vent, or chimney.
Fireplaces, stoves, or portable room heaters
Three kinds of heating methods. The question does not distinguish between them. Fireplaces used as the principal source of heat are counted here, as are ranges and stoves, including parlor stoves, circulating heaters, cookstoves also used for heating, etc. portable room heaters can be picked up and moved around at will, either without limitation (kerosene, oil, gasoline heaters) or within the radius allowed by a flexible gas hose or an electric cord (gas, electric heaters). This classification includes all electric heaters that get current through a cord plugged into an electric wall outlet.
Units with no heating equipment. Most common in the warmest part of the country (Hawaii, Florida, etc.) and seasonal units not intended for winter occupancy.
A test survey taken before the census showed relatively large biases for certain types of heating equipment, particularly in multi-unit structures, when compared to reinterviews. A 1970 census evaluation study found that "steam or hot water system," "central warm air furnaces," and "floor, wall, or pipeless furnace" were under reported, and that "built in electric units" and "room heaters with flue" were over-reported.
Similar data have been collected since 1940. The electric heat pump category includes the central heat pumps which were part of the "central warm air furnace" category in 1970, as well as the individual room heat pumps which were included in the "built-in electric units" category in 1970. A 1970 write-in category for "other means of heating" was deleted.
See also: "Air Conditioning;" "Energy Costs, Monthly Residential;" "Fuel".