Installing a new heating system can seem like a daunting task. Whether your existing system is being replaced, or you are building a new home in the Greenwich CT area, a wide range of options exist, from furnaces to heat pumps. So where do you start? We recommend discussing the issue with a residential property management professional before making any final decisions. The following information, however, will help you get a handle on the options that are available. At Greenwich Home Management our property management services include heating system consultations as well as installation and ongoing maintenance.
Many people refer to their heating unit as a furnace – even though it may actually be a boiler. They are two markedly different systems, however. Boilers work by employing hydronics to heat water. A circulator pump distributes the hot water though pipes that lead to baseboards, radiators or radiant floor tubing. Boilers can use natural gas, heating oil, electricity or propane as fuel.
Furnaces heat air that is moved though ductwork and distributed to each room. Cooler air is drawn into the system then heated by the furnace. It is then redistributed as warm air throughout the house. Furnaces operate by using electricity, oil, propane or natural gas. Air can be filtered as it circulates through the ductwork to remove allergens and pollutants.
Hydro air systems combine boilers with air handlers to turn hot water into warm air. This is a good system for homes with central air conditioning because it allows for the heat and AC to run through ductwork. Hydro air systems are typically more efficient and they provide a dryer heat.
How to Choose a System
Choosing among the major heating systems can be tricky, but it comes down to your specific needs and comfort levels. Before making a choice, consult with a residential property management company. In the meantime consider the following pros and cons of each.
Boiler Pros and Cons
Quiet operation is one of the most significant pros of installing a boiler. They don’t employ hot air blowing though ductwork, which can be noisy at times. They’re also more efficient and provide more consistent, even heat. And boilers require less maintenance because they have fewer parts that need regular attention, such as filters.
The cons of boilers include the speed of which the equipment can change the temperature of a room. Hot air from a furnace heats a room faster. Boilers are also harder to convert and harder to install. And they pose a potential leaking hazard, as water will be running through pipes throughout the home.
Pros and Cons of a Furnace
The most significant pro of a furnace is cost. They are considerably less expensive than boilers, primarily because they are more common. They can be up to half the price of boilers. Other pros include ease of installation and the reduced risk of frozen pipes and water leaks.
The primary con of a furnace is efficiency. Heating air requires more fuel than heating water. Other significant cons include poor air quality, noisier operation, and poor heat consistency.
Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular. One of the biggest draws is that they have the ability to provide heat and air conditioning. When it’s cold outside there is still heat energy present. The equipment extracts this heat and moves it into the living space. The same principle applies for cooling.
The main pro of a heat pump is efficiency. They are very efficient, and require less maintenance and running costs. The main cons include high upfront costs, complicated installation and questionable performance in very cold temperatures.
Several factors come into play when deciding which heating system is right for your Greenwich area home. It can be easy to get overwhelmed. Using a residential property management company can be a big help right from the start. At Greenwich Home Management we employ only experienced, knowledgeable heating and air conditioning professionals. We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish so that you feel comfortable with the choice that you make.
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