In today’s fast paced world, the last thing people are thinking about is their heating system. In order to ensure you get the system that will suit your needs and deliver the comfort level you are looking for, you’re going to need to consider the following questions.
• What makes it work? (i.e. fuel oil, natural gas, L.P. gas or electric)
• What are the pros and cons of different fuel options?
• What are the operating costs of oil, gas, and electric?
• Do I want hot water or warm air heat?
• Am I installing central air with the system?
• What about maintenance?
These are just a few of the concerns that need to be addressed to make an informed decision. At Flores Air Conditioning Inc. our staff has the expertise and experience to help assist you in making the right decision. Whether you are replacing an old unit or an inoperable one, or maybe you are building a new home, we’ll help guide you through the maze of options. Since we’re talking about your comfort, it’s important to get as much information as you can.
The popular notion is that heat pumps are not economical for the climate we live in. This may be true as the temperature drops below freezing. The reality is that properly designed and installed heat pump systems can be cheaper to install and have lower maintenance costs. There are three primary types of heat pump installations including:
• Standard air-to-air
• Geothermal or ground source
• Heat Pump Plus
We will look at these types individually below, but feel free to contact the expert heating professionals at Flores Air Conditioning Inc. for further details.
STANDARD AIR TO AIR SYSTEMS
These systems consist of an air handling unit indoors with electric resistance auxiliary heaters and an outdoor unit with compressor and heat/cool switch valve. This is the most commonly installed configuration seen in the Lehigh Valley area.
These systems consist of a single unit located indoors with an air handling side and a compressor side (no outside unit). The second part of the system is the ground or water exchange. Using water as the medium, temperature transfer is accomplished thru the water to the underground earth or water table. This is done to take advantage of the constant 50 degree temperature under the first five or six feet of ground. This type of system is becoming more popular and is being utilized primarily by new construction.
HEAT PUMP PLUS ®
These systems consist of the standard type installation, except the auxiliary electric resistance heater is replaced by a hot water coil. This coil is located in the outgoing air duct. Hot water from an oil fired heating system is circulated through the coil upon demand. This is much more economical and comfortable than electric as well as providing several additional benefits like domestic water heating and additional space heating.
The term furnace pertains to any type of fuel burning warm air system. Typically, these units are oil or gas fired. Flame is established in the combustion chamber and the heat exchanger. Air is then driven over the exchanger and distributed thru the home via duct work. Most of these systems can also be used for air conditioning as well.
There are many sizes and styles of oil furnaces. Most new units average 81 to 84% efficiency. These units can be installed with or without a chimney.
Like oil, gas units have many styles and configurations. Efficiency ranges from 80 to 90+% A.F.U.E. All units can be used with or without a chimney.
There are many other factors to consider when installing a furnace of any kind in your home. Variable speed motors, higher efficiency air filtering and humidification can give you the most comfortable system possible.
Hydronic is the popular term for heating with high temperature water. A central unit heats water either with oil, gas or electric and circulates the water through piping to radiators, baseboard, convectors or duct coils. “Wet” heat is considered by many to be the most comfortable. There are several important reasons this works best.
• “Warmer” feeling in the home
• Easy to “zone” or control temperature in different areas of the house
• Radiant or in-floor heating capability