When I moved into my Lowell, MA home I figured I was stuck with the heating system that came with it, and the previous owner relied on a boiler system that was in the basement.
The boiler then heated air that rose and went up through a series of grates in the family room floor. That was it as far as heating. There also was no cooling system. For years I dealt with inferior heating and no AC, then i kept a space furnace on the family room table for when my youngsters ate breakfast. It was awful; When that boiler finally died I did some major renovating as far as Heating and Air Conditioning went. I removed the boiler and covered all the grates. I contacted a Lowell Heating and Air Conditioning corporation and talked about my options. I ended up selecting a dual fuel system for my cabin in MA. It is basically a heat pump and a gas furnace combinated. For the cold, winter season season the gas furnace is what is heating my house. Then when the temperatures get a little warmer, the heating function of the heat pump can operate. In the summer, the cooling function of the heart pumps what I use. I would say most of the year I am relying on the heat pump which is a more energy efficient way to provide temperature control. I save so much energy on my bills doing this. I need the gas furnace option though since the temperatures in Lowell do get down below freezing. It was a smart buy for me in Lowell, MA.