Thinking about getting a heat pump for your home? You’re probably wondering how it stacks up against other types of heating, like central HVAC, wood and pellet stoves, natural gas, baseboard heating, and space heaters. Here’s what to know and how the veteran East coast HVAC contractors at Jones Services can assist you.
Though both forced-air and ductless heating have their pros and cons, some key differences may make one or the other a better choice for your home.
Ductless systems don’t rely on ductwork to distribute heat, so they can be a good option if your home doesn’t have existing ducts or if you’re looking to avoid the hassle and expense of installing them. Heat pumps are also more energy-efficient than central heating because they don’t lose warmth through leaky ducts.
On the other hand, central HVAC systems are typically less expensive to install than ductless systems but are costlier to operate in the long term. If you already have central HVAC in place, adding a ductless unit to supplement it may be a more cost-effective option than replacing your entire system.
Wood and pellet stoves were a popular form of heating before central and ductless HVAC, and many East coast homes still have these charming, albeit outdated, heating sources. Compared to ductless, wood and pellet stoves tend to be relatively inefficient, and even EPA-certified pellet stoves only operate at about 70% efficiency according to the Department of Energy. High-quality heat pumps can reach much higher levels of efficiency and some models operate at well over 90%.
Additionally, ductless heating systems can be installed quickly and easily, often in just a few hours. Wood and pellet stoves require more complex installation, as they need to be vented through an exterior wall. This can add significant time and cost to the installation process. Cleaning is also much easier and indoor air quality is improved with a ductless system. Wood and pellet stoves need to have their chimneys cleaned periodically to prevent the buildup of soot and creosote, while ductless filters can be rinsed in the sink.
Natural gas is another form of heating that many older homes use. The cost of ductless heating compared to natural gas heating can be quite different depending on the region where you live and the type of fuel that is used. When it comes to upfront costs, ductless systems are often less expensive than central HVAC, especially if your home doesn’t already have ductwork installed.
Ductless systems are also more efficient than natural gas furnaces, as they don’t rely on burning fossil fuels to generate heat. This means that there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the only emissions from a ductless system are from the outside unit, which is typically located far away from living spaces.
Baseboard heating is a popular choice for many homeowners, and it tends to be safer and less toxic than, say, a wood stove that produces carbon monoxide and ash. But ductless still outperforms electric baseboard heat in nearly every category.
While both ductless and baseboard heating systems require relatively little maintenance, baseboard heaters may need to be replaced more frequently than ductless units, as they are subject to wear and tear from constant use.
Baseboard heaters can also pose a fire hazard if not properly maintained, as they can build up dust and lint over time. Ductless units are much less likely to cause fires, as they do not have any exposed electrical components. Furthermore, ductless systems provide more evenly-distributed warmth than baseboard heating since warm air is circulated throughout the home rather than concentrated in one area.
Space heaters are a popular choice for supplemental heating, but they come with some drawbacks. First, space heaters are a fire hazard, regardless of how many safety features they have or how carefully they’re used. Second, space heaters are not very efficient because they only heat the space around them and not the entire home. Third, space heaters can be expensive to operate because they use a lot of electricity.
Ductless heating systems are a much safer and more efficient option for supplemental heating. Ductless systems work by transferring heat from the outside air into the home, which is a much more efficient process than using electricity to produce the same amount of heat. Ductless systems can also be used to heat an entire home, not just one room, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.
At Jones Services, we know that heat pumps outperform essentially all other types of heating. We can help you determine if upgrading your system or using ductless for a new addition is right for you. Call today by dialing (845) 299-2234.