Heat Pumps Vs. Hydronic Coils – Which Heat Source Is Better?

heat pumps vs hydronic coilsWhether you are upgrading a current system, looking for a replacement, or considering a new home purchase, understanding the home heating system and what provides the best heat can be confusing. When choosing the best heat source for your home, consider many factors, including initial costs, cost and efficiency of operations, and even aesthetics.

If you’ve narrowed the choice down to heat pump or hydronic coils, chances are you’ve already done a fair amount of research. But which is better for Long Island winters and keeping your family comfortable?

What You Need to Know About Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are popular right now, especially when combined with solar energy. One of the big selling points for many people is that heat pumps can help you reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. After all, they don’t use oil, natural gas, or propane.

In New York, home heating systems are responsible for 32 percent of the greenhouse gas emission, so heat pumps can attract many homeowners to their environmental benefits. They also may mean a lower total energy bill, but homeowners shouldn’t be surprised to see their electric bills increase.

A heat pump has two major components: a heat exchange unit outside the house and an air handler inside the house. The heat exchanger outside converts the outside air into either cooled or heated air, depending on the season, and then the air handler pumps it through the ducts in your home, providing air conditioning or heat.

The all-in-one nature of a heat pump can be appealing as that’s one fewer home system to maintain. However, heat pumps are not without their drawbacks.

In frigid temperatures, a heat pump can stop working. Temperatures well-below zero are not unheard of on Long Island, so you may want to have a backup system for the coldest of winters. Additionally, the heat pump does usually rely on electricity, so it’s a poor option if you live in an area with frequent power outages.

What You Need to Know About Hydronic Coils

Hydronic coils use hot water to heat the air in your home, primarily using radiant heat. When installing a hydronic system, the first thing to understand is that you won’t need ductwork. But you will need a lot of pipes to take hot water from your water heater to the radiators or other areas you are heating.

One of the nice things about using radiant heat is planning for heated floors in the bathroom. Additionally, because you don’t have a duct system, you save yourself the cost of duct cleaning and maintenance.

The efficiency of your hydronic coil heating system will depend a lot on the age and type of water heater you use. Experts suggest that the water heater can handle the amount of water you need for personal use, including laundry and dishes, and heating the house.

The other factor in the cost and efficiency of your hydronic coil system will be how the water is heated. Older homes may already have a boiler that uses fuel oil, natural gas, or propane to heat the water, and more modern systems may use a tankless water heater.

Remember that because the system pumps hot water through pipes to get to the areas where it will be dispersed, you may lose some amount of heat along the way. On the other hand, because the hydronic coils do not rely on forced air to warm your home, you may find the heat more consistent and comfortable.

Trust Tragar with Your Family’s Year-Round Comfort

When it’s time for heating system maintenance or upgrade, call the experts at Tragar Home Services. We offer extensive heat system services. Tragar has been keeping Nassau County and Suffolk County residents comfortable for more than 60 years. For information about heating system upgrades, call Tragar Express today at (516) 221-2559. You can also email us at info@tragarexpress.com.