Hydronic coil prices, pros and cons
Hydronic coil forced air heating is far from a universally adopted technology. Here are the ins and outs of coil air conditioning and what a forced air HVAC system can do for you.
Where do you need services?
You may have heard about the advantages of installing some kind of hydronic coil to your heating and cooling setup. Hydronic coil forced air heating is far from a universally adopted technology. Here are the ins and outs of coil air conditioning and what a forced air HVAC system can do for you.
Before you hire a contractor, be sure you do your homework on the subject. Learn not just what a hydronic coil is and what it's good for, but also what to expect when you call for an installation estimate and what to look for in a warranty.
A coil unit, which is also known as a coil fan unit or forced air system, works in a pretty straightforward manner. Basically, it's a heat exchanger that uses hot water — whether from a tank or a tankless water system — to warm a small metal coil. Air is then forced over that coil and warmed before being pumped back into the home.
The advantages to doing it this way are that you'll be saving energy over what even a very efficient furnace would save you, as well as heating your home with a safer, more compact unit. Such a unit is known for delivering even warming to the various rooms of your house.
Another major advantage of forced air heating systems is price. The energy savings over time are usually substantial with hydronic systems. But unlike other forms of energy-efficient technology, these coils usually don't require a prohibitive initial outlay for installation.
Spacepack, for example, offers a number of coil units for less than $1,000. Precision Coils has elements that can go as low as $275. What these kinds of prices mean for you is that the barrier to trying out a new way of managing your home's climate is set pretty low.
There are several distinct disadvantages to switching over to these kinds of systems. For one, a forced air system requires a special filter that will have to be replaced periodically.
The system is also prone to infiltration, which sounds really bad but is basically stray heat sneaking into or out of the system. This normally happens when it hasn't been connected properly to your ducts. This is quite a problem, as many ducting systems are incompatible with these kinds of upgrades.
Whatever your situation, hydronic coil and forced air systems have a lot to offer. Before making a final decision, setting up a consultation with an expert contractor is probably the best decision you can make.
Photo credit: ptacs.com