Why Mini Splits Beat Radiator Heat Everytime!
If you are the proud owner of an older home, you are no doubt enjoying the solid construction and craftsmanship. The hardwood floors, the substantial moldings and hardware all make older construction desirable and worth needing to deal with the lack of recent technological advancements – like a robust HVAC system.
Older homes, especially those seen on the Main Line or Radnor, Pennsylvania have all of the really solid construction of a bygone era, but frequently come with outdated radiator heat and no air conditioning. But, the good news is that more modern heating and cooling solutions are available with little or no disruption to your existing situation.
Let’s take a closer look at how radiant heat works and how the mini-split might work together with or even replace your radiant heating system.
How Radiant Heat Works
Radiant heat has been in existence for some time. It was most popular in the late 19th century. The heating radiator was invented by Franz San Galli in 1855, a Kingdom of Prussia-born Russian businessman living in St. Petersburg. In the late 1800s, companies, such as the American Radiator Company, promoted cast iron radiators over previous fabricated steel designs in order to lower costs and expand the market. The expansion of the Main Line into the western suburbs of Philadelphia, such as Radnor coincided with the popularity of radiant heat.
Radiant heat came with three energy sources.
- Steam conduction was used primarily for large office buildings and worked off of a central boiler.
- Hot-water radiators consist of a sealed hollow metal container filled with hot water by gravity feed, a pump, or convection. As it gives out heat, the hot water cools and sinks to the bottom of the radiator and is forced out of a pipe at the other end. These types of radiators were often installed in homes as baseboard heat or standing radiators
- Electric radiant heat unlike steam or hot water systems which receive heat from a boiler,
heat from electricity at the location of the radiator. This heat may be transferred to a fluid (such as oil) inside the radiator. The oil circulates inside the radiator by convection, which distributes the heat from the heating element to the surface of the radiator.
Why Radiant Heat as a Standalone Falls Short
What these three radiant systems have in common is that they all depend on hot circulating water or fluid to radiate outward to heat a room. The downsides of this type of heat are real.
- Radiant heat doesn’t produce even heat. The further you get from the source of heat, the cooler the room. And if your system has not been maintained properly heat output may be reduced or even non-existent due to clogged or rusted pipes leaving entire rooms lacking.
- There is zero cooling ability with radiant heat. Years ago, homeowners could depend on the thick walls of their tightly built homes and only a handful of 90-degree plus days to get them through the summer doldrums. But those days are long gone and an upstairs room without cooling is not a pretty prospect.
Mini Splits Solve Older Homes’ Heating and Cooling Needs
The mini split technology is a wonder in energy efficiency.
It works like this – the ductless heating and cooling systems are made up of 3 main components: an outdoor unit (condenser), an outdoor wall or ceiling mounted unit, and a remote control (thermostat).
A ductless air conditioner or heater has two-way heat pumps that transfer heat between the outdoor and indoor air. This happens by compressing and expanding refrigerant (high-pressure liquid).
By collecting heat from outside, the unit can deliver that air inside the house for a heating cycle and vice versa for cooling! There are variable speed compressors with interior technology that will help the heating and cooling work smoothly by transferring from the AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current).
The mini split provides these four benefits to a home with radiant heat already installed.
- The mini split technology allows for flexible multi zoned heating and cooling. The main advantages of mini-splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air-handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit.
- Each of the zones has its own thermostat. So if you find that a room doesn’t need additional heating or cooling, simply turn the air handler off or reduce the setting.
- Your mini split system requires no expensive ductwork. In homes that utilize radiant heat and do not have ductwork, a mini split installation requires only a small 3 inch pipe be inserted. Most installations take a day or less to install.
- Mini splits can help you reduce your energy costs by as much as 25 to 50%
Ductless Mini Split Installation In Radnor, PA
The best way to find out if a mini split is a smart addition to your home heating and cooling needs is to speak to a representative from a trusted company who knows your area and the kind of solutions that you are looking for.
In the Radnor or Main Line area, John Cipollone Inc has been a trusted source of heating and cooling solutions for over 60 years! Their team of experts will be glad to listen to your concerns and help map out options to suit your needs. Give us a call at (610) 446-7877 or click on the button below!