Three Supplemental Heating Options For Your Heat Pump System

Posted on: 4 December 2018

When it comes to heating and cooling your home efficiently, a heat pump system can get the job done. During the winter, heat pumps work by absorbing latent heat from outdoors and transferring said heat indoors. It's an efficient way to keep a home warm, but freezing temperatures can make this process less efficient than expected.

When temperatures dip below freezing and your heat pump's performance lags, it pays to have a supplemental heating system in place to take up the slack. The following showcases three options for supplemental heating, each with their own advantages and caveats to consider.

1. Electric Baseboards

Electric baseboard heaters are a common supplemental heating choice for heat pump systems due to their relative ease of installation. They're also ideal for creating a zoned heating system where multiple rooms can be heated at independent temperatures. Electric baseboard heaters usually lack moving parts, making them quieter and more reliable than other heating systems.

Unfortunately, electric baseboard heaters can also consume large amounts of electricity in comparison to heat pumps, making them suitable only for short-term operation. Baseboard heaters also require several inches of clearance between the units and potentially flammable objects, including drapes, sofas and other upholstery.

2. Radiant Cove Heating

Radiant cove heating offers another way of supplementing your heat pump's performance. Cove heaters are mounted directly on the wall in the "cove" area where the wall meets the ceiling, hence the name. Unlike forced-air heating solutions that focus on heating the air itself, cove heaters emit radiant energy and rely on convection to deliver heat directly to people and objects. The cove heater's fanless design also makes it ideal for quiet operation and easy maintenance.

Cove heaters tend to heat objects and people slowly, making it a non-starter for those who want fast supplemental heat. The farther away you are from a cove heater, the less you'll benefit from its heating performance.

3. Hydronic Coil

Hydronic coil-based supplemental heating is yet another option to explore if you plan on using your heat pump year-round. Hydronic coils rely on hot water sourced from a boiler or hot water heater to provide supplemental heating when your main source of heat lags behind. Hydronic coils are relatively affordable, and most units are able to recoup their costs quickly through annual energy savings.

Unfortunately, hydronic coils are vulnerable to corrosion and leaks, especially when they're maintained poorly. Hydronic coils also require a pump to occasionally circulate water during the cooling season to combat the effects of stagnation. You should also make sure your water heater has enough capacity to handle both your home's hot water needs as well as its supplemental heating demands.


Making Your Customers Comfortable

Starting a business is a monumental accomplishment. My mom and I have talked about opening a restaurant in the past. However, we haven’t ever worked up enough courage to turn our dreams into a reality. I admire anyone who has the nerve to risk financial security in order to become an entrepreneur. I do know, however, that if you’re beginning a new business establishment, one of your goals should be to make your customers comfortable as they shop around. You don't want them to get too hot, or too cold. Depending on where you live, this objective might be especially important during the hot summer months. On this blog, you will discover the best types of HVAC units to install in business establishments. Enjoy!