Water-to-air/ air-to-water heat exchangers are used in a variety of residential as well as commercial thermodynamic applications, such as using circulated water to heat or cool air in an HVAC unit, or to cool hot water using a flow of air in the radiator of a combustion engine, and more. The heat exchangers can be used as a space heater or in conjunction with existing ductwork, and are designed to fit right into the plenum of your existing hot air furnace to meet the different space needs. Though liquids such as a water-glycol solution, steam, or refrigerant can also be used in liquid to air heat exchangers; because water is readily available and has excellent conductive properties, it is a more popular choice.
Why Use Water to Air Heat Exchangers
The biggest advantage of a water-to-air heat exchanger to a homeowner is high efficiency that allows for low heating costs for their house or building. A water to air/ air to water heat exchanger generally costs 50% to 60% less to heat your rooms than a tradition fossil fuel-based system, such as a gas or oil boiler. Simply put, the efficiency of condensing boiler is much lower—92% as compared to that of an air to water heat exchanger—from 320% to 400%, or even more. This basically means that for every 4 units of heat put into your home or building, 3 of them are free. In addition to that, because most of the heat energy supplied to your home is from a natural source, there is a very low carbon footprint which allows for a better energy rating as compared to the traditional fossil fuel-based heating systems.
Problems with Air to Air Heat Exchangers
Air-to-Air heat exchangers utilize the difference between the hotter internal temperature of an enclosure and the cooler, ambient air temperature to work. Though recent technology upgrades have made air-to-air exchangers functional even in varying temperatures, if the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is too much, the effectiveness of the exchangers can be significantly reduced. Because air is not as effective at transferring heat as water, water to air/ air to water heat exchangers have an edge over their air to air counterparts.
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