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Introduction to HVAC Electric Heat Kits & Strips
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential for providing comfort in homes and businesses. One of the most efficient ways to heat a residential or commercial building is with electric heat kits and strips. In this article, we will look at what electric heat kits and strips are, how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to install them.
What is an Electric Heat Kit & Strip?
Electric heat kits are components of an HVAC system that provide supplemental heating in areas where it would otherwise be inadequate or unavailable. They can be used to replace a gas furnace or supplement existing heating systems. The main components of an electric heat kit are an electric heater, electric heater controls, a thermostat, wiring harnesses, and conduit fittings.
An electric heat strip is an individual component of the electric heat kit. It consists of several metal strips connected together that run along the length of a duct as part of a forced-air heating system. The strips are heated by electricity, which then heats the air inside the duct before it's sent throughout the building or home.
How Do Electric Heat Kits & Strips Work?
The basic principle behind electrical heating systems is simple: electricity passes through special coils located in the heater strip, which converts it into thermal energy (heat). This thermal energy is then transferred to other objects, such as air molecules in the surrounding environment, through conduction, convection, and radiation processes.
In HVAC systems using electric heat kits and strips, heated air passes through ducts throughout the building or home. As it passes through these ducts, some of its thermal energy is transferred to other objects, such as walls and furniture, which helps keep those objects warm as well.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Electric Heat Kits & Strips
One of the biggest benefits of using an electric heat kit or strip is their efficiency; they can reach temperatures much higher than traditional gas-fired furnaces but use less power in doing so. This makes them cost-effective when compared to other types of heating solutions, especially over longer periods of time since there are no ongoing fuel costs associated with them like there would be if you were using oil or natural gas for your heating needs. Additionally, they do not produce any hazardous combustion gases like carbon monoxide so there’s no need for venting which further reduces installation costs.
However, there are also some drawbacks associated with electric heating systems that must be taken into consideration when deciding whether this type of system is right for you. For example, due to their relatively high electrical requirements, they can cause peak loads on power grids which can result in higher bills during certain times of the year when usage is highest (summer months). Additionally, since they rely on electricity for their operation, they’re vulnerable to power outages. In areas prone to severe weather events, you may find yourself without adequate heating during those times unless you have backup generators installed at your property prior to any outages occurring.
Installation Considerations for Electric Heat Kits & Strips
Before installing any electrical heating system, it’s important to consult professional help, such as an experienced contractor who can determine how much power your new system will require based on factors such as size/type/location, etc. Additionally, local laws may require any electrical installations over certain wattage levels to be inspected by local authorities before being switched on, so always check with your local city/town hall first before proceeding with any installation project where wiring changes may be necessary. Once all inspections have been completed, you can proceed with the installation.
It’s also important to note that when installing an electrical heating system, you should always ensure that all connections are securely fastened, sealed against moisture ingress, tightly fitted around wires (for safety reasons ), free from corrosion, made from materials suitable for the purpose (such as metallic conduits), placed away from combustible materials, etc... In addition, particular attention must also be paid ensuring good insulation practices around wires too since poor insulation can result in significant loss energy /heat causing greater energy consumption thus increasing running costs. Lastly due regular maintenance checks should also be carried out to ensure all components and parts remain in safe working order e. g checking thermostats functioning correctly, ensuring no debris clogging up filters, etc...