What is a Heat Pump? How Heat Pumps Work:

November 10, 2021
Heat Pumps Explained by American Service Company

Aside from your standard furnace and air conditioning systems, there are different ways that you can heat and cool your home. If you’re interested in these alternative methods, you may want to read on to find out more about heat pumps. They may be a bit high when it comes to the initial investment price, but they end up lowering your monthly utility bills quite a bit.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is designed to move heat from an outside source into your home during the cold weather months. It can also work reversely. You can utilize cool air from outside in order to cool your home in the summer. A heat pump will utilize refrigerant along with a compressor to get the job done. The refrigerant moves between two heat exchanger coils where it will evaporate in order to absorb heat. The refrigerant is then compressed, and it will be sent to the other coil in order to be moved into your home.

The cooling process works in a reverse method. The evaporator coil will absorb heat, and the condenser will remove the heat in order to condense the gas into a liquid. This process promotes a cooling effect, and the resulting cool air will be pushed into your home to lower its temperature.

The Different Types of Heat Pumps

There are three different types of heat pumps that you can choose from for your home. This includes the air-to-air system, the water source heat pump and a geothermal pump. All of them are designed to alter the temperature of your home by using outside heat, but they function a bit differently.

The air-to-air system will utilize heat from outside to change the temperature of your home. They work well in all areas of the U.S., though they are quite a bit more efficient in areas that don’t experience temperatures below zero degrees in the winter.

A water source heat pump utilizes refrigerant to generate heat or cold air for your home. If you have an open circle system, water will be pumped through the system to complete the process.

A geothermal heat pump will transfer heat to your home from the ground or a water source nearby. This is a bit more expensive of a system, but they can be used in virtually any area of the U.S. They can also reduce your energy consumption by as much as 30 to 60 percent.

The Benefits of a Heat Pump

It’s ideal that you understand the pros and cons that come with a new piece of equipment for your home, especially if a large investment is involved. When it comes to a heat pump, you can expect to save money long term. The cost of running your heat pump is much lower than if you were just using your traditional furnace. You only have to use one system to provide your home with both heated and cooled air. Also, a lot less maintenance and repairs are needed with a heat pump when compared to a combustion system. The average life expectancy of a heat pump is about 10 to 15 years. If you take care of your unit, you can expect it to last even longer.

When it comes to safety, a heat pump is a very safe option. There isn’t the potential for a carbon monoxide leak, and there are less carbon emissions overall. You’ll find that a heat pump is quiet, it’s clean and it helps to bring the overall humidity levels to a comfortable and safe level in your home. Combustion heating can really dry out your indoor air, which causes an increase in allergies and upper respiratory illnesses.

The Cons of Having a Heat Pump in Your Home

In order to provide your home with comfortable indoor air temperatures, a heat pump will use heat from the air and ground to change your interior temperature. When the weather outside is very cold, it can become difficult for a heat pump to find the source of heat that it needed. That’s why heat pumps are a bit more popular in stable climates that don’t have extreme cold or hot temperatures throughout the year. You do have the option of investing in a backup system. This system would be used if your heat pump just isn’t producing the conditioned air that you need.

The initial installation cost associated with a heat pump can be a bit high because of the indoor and outdoor components that need to be installed. If you’re utilizing a backup system, this can be a lot of equipment to purchase. You may be able to utilize your existing furnace as your backup, but some work will still need to be done to bring this whole setup together.

If you would like more information on using a heat pump in your home, you can contact us at American Service Company. We can also provide you with any routine maintenance or repairs that you may need in order to keep your home comfortable and safe. Give us a call at 804-739-4094, or you can send us a message on our website.