If your residential or commercial property doesn’t currently have ductwork and you’re looking to sufficiently cool and warm your home or business without the need for traditional ductwork, you should learn about fan coil units. But what is a fan coil unit? Below, you’ll learn about these unique units, including their advantages, disadvantages, and whether they’re as energy efficient as you may be hoping they are. Ready to learn more?

What They Are

A fan coil unit is made up of a fan and either a heating or cooling element to provide warmth during the colder months of the year and cool air during summer. In most cases, they can be used on devices like ductless heat pumps because they aren’t connected to traditional ventilation. Besides residential and commercial buildings that don’t have ductwork, fan coil units can also be used in conjunction with standard HVAC units to provide another source of heating or cooling to help everyone in the building remain comfortable as well as lower energy bills and usage.  

Pros

In regards to the great things about fan coil units, one of their greatest advantages is the fact that they’re so quick and easy to install, allowing you to get comfortable sooner rather than later. Additionally, you’ll have plenty of options as to where to place your fan coil unit, which means you won’t have to settle for a space that doesn’t suit your liking or flow with the overall layout of the room. For instance, you can mount a heat pump in a concealed ceiling void, let it stand free in a room of your choice, or attach it to a wall. Being ductless, you may also find the cost of installation of fan coil units to be more affordable than the price of a standard HVAC unit in the long run.

But for all the great things about coil fans, they certainly aren’t without their downsides. Learn what they are so you can form a balanced opinion about them.

Cons

If the room you want to heat or cool has an open floor plan, you may find yourself wishing you had another source of heat or cool air. Fan coil units aren’t as powerful as standard HVAC units. Something else to think about is the fact that the units utilize chilled and hot water valves, which can sometimes pose a maintenance issue. Additionally, you may discover that your unit is a bit on the noisy side when compared to a regular HVAC unit. For that reason, you should do yourself a favor and listen to one operate before having it installed in your home to get an idea of what you can expect. Finally, know that you could also have to deal with refrigerant leaks.

Depending on where you live, there may be a low dew point in your geographic area. If there is, your fan coil unit may need a condensate pan and drainage system, which you’ll need to make sure you occasionally flush and clean. As far as cleaning the rest of the unit, taking proper care of the coils may require a bit more elbow grease than you realize. Either ask an HVAC professional for tips to make the job easier or simply leave the job to an expert so you don’t risk only halfway cleaning the coil.   

Overall Energy Efficiency

While the general energy efficiency of fan coil units is pretty good, you have to do your part of maintaining and maximizing that efficiency. That means keeping up with routine maintenance and making sure you only use the unit in how it’s intended. Be sure you read over the unit’s instruction manual before operating it.

Also in regards to efficiency, newer units will work better than older units. Do yourself, and your wallet, a favor and be sure to know when it’s time to consider a replacement rather than a repair as your unit starts to increase in age.

What To Ask

As you’re checking out different fan coil units, there are a few questions to keep on the tip of your tongue. For instance, does the heating element require electricity or hot water? There may also be a building management system you need to be aware of. Something else to ask is how often you need to plan on cleaning the filters to keep the unit operating at peak efficiency.

Do you feel a ductless heat pump could be a good fit for you and your residential or commercial property? Speak with a knowledgeable professional today to learn more about your options and to ask any questions that you may have. Once your ductless heat pump has been successfully installed, know that The Heat Pump Store is here to take care of it and handle all your future heat pump needs, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.