With energy costs rising, many homeowners are considering how they can cut back on their heating and cooling costs that make up a significant portion of their utility bills. A heat pump may be just what you need for those looking to upgrade their heating and cooling units with something more energy efficient.
What is a Heat Pump- How it Works
A heat pump is a device that pumps heat. When you want to cool your home in summer, it works by pumping heat from inside your house to the outside. And, when you want to heat your home in winter, it works in reverse. It draws heat from the outdoors and pumps it into the house.
Essentially, you get to enjoy heating and cooling from just one compact unit that changes the direction of its action, thanks to a reversing valve. Once this switch is thrown, you can change the direction of flow of the refrigerant, switching it from heating to cooling mode or vice versa.
It works similarly to how refrigerators operate by drawing out heat from inside to releasing it via the coils at the back. There are different types of heat pumps. Air-to-air heat pumps will draw heat from the outdoor air to warm the interior. Even if it feels cold outdoors, there is still heat in the air until temperatures reach zero.
The second type of heat pump is the ground source or geothermal heat pump. It draws in warm air from the ground or water source, a more consistent heat source, from loops of flexible pipe buried underground. While ground source heat pumps are more efficient and durable, both are good options.
These heat pumps use ductwork to circulate the warm or cool air they create. For properties that do not have ducts, there is the option of ductless air-source heat pumps. Also referred to as mini-split system heat pumps, they are a good option for homes with non-ducted heating systems or where an extension has been built, but connecting to existing ductwork is impossible. Those living in very energy-efficient homes that require little air conditioning or heating can also make do with this option.
Why Invest in a Heat Pump
Heating and cooling can make up as much as 50% of your monthly energy bills. Using a heat pump can cut heating costs by as much as half and overall energy costs by up to a third. They are a more efficient option than relying on electricity-reliant appliances. This is because heat pumps typically create three times as much heat for the same power consumption electric devices use to produce one unit of heat.
Consistent Room Temperatures
Ground source heat pumps are particularly efficient as their heat source comes from the ground. The ambient temperature underground is fairly consistent all year round. This makes it easy for such heat pumps to maintain a consistent indoor temperature. It also ensures steady and even energy use.
Modern heat pumps incorporate variable speed compressor technology. This technology enables a heat pump to adjust output based on load requirements continually. It does this automatically and without wasting energy. This responsiveness allows the heat pump to manage its energy consumption more efficiently while providing the level of indoor comfort desired. Heat pumps with this technology can generate up to 40% in energy savings.
Modern heat pumps work quietly, providing even more comfort for homeowners. From the variable speed motors that limit blower noise, even running at full speed, to scroll compressors, their design ensures quiet operation and long operating life.
Management of Indoor Humidity
Heat pumps are better at managing indoor humidity levels than central HVAC systems. When humidity can be lowered in summer and sustained better in winter conditions, HVAC systems can operate more efficiently and allow occupants in the home to feel more comfortable. Properly managing humidity is also vital to helping those with respiratory and other health problems breathe more comfortably.
Switching from heating to cooling is done by throwing a switch on the thermostat. Using the same system for both functions makes heat pumps easy to maintain as you deal with the same parts for the indoor air handler and the outdoor condenser.
For help selecting, servicing, and installing a heat pump for your home, do call an HVAC specialist. This will ensure you enjoy the best energy efficiency benefits from a device suited to your home.