When it comes to heating and cooling a house, there are various options available. For people living in climates that require moderate heating and cooling, a heat pump can be a very energy-efficient option. It delivers a similar heating or cooling effect with a central heating and cooling system at a fraction of the price. A heat pump will keep you warm during the winter and provides cooler air during summer. It also minimizes carbon footprints and fossil fuel use. Here are various things that you need to know about a heat pump.
1. What Is a Heat Pump?
It’s an appliance that uses electricity and refrigerant technology to provide cooled or heated air in a house. The heat pump contains two main components. The outdoor unit, also known as the condenser, sits outside the house and is responsible for cooling or heating. It has a coil that functions as the evaporator while heating and as a condenser in the cooling mode.
On the other hand, the indoor unit sits on a wall or even a ceiling, and its purpose is to pass conditioned air into a house. It also has a coil that acts as a condenser in the heating mode and an evaporator while cooling. Both compartments contain a fan that blows air over the coils to facilitate heat exchange. A refrigerant line connects the indoor to the outdoor unit to allow airflow.
There are three main types of heat pumps: geothermal, air source, and water source. They all work by collecting heat from the outside and concentrating it for use inside a house.
2. How Does It Work?
It’s worth noting that a heat pump doesn’t generate heat. Instead, it circulates cooler or warmer air from one place to another. Just like an HVAC unit, a thermostat controls the indoor heat pump. When there is a need to heat the house, the heat pump turns on a fan on the outdoor unit. It then extracts heat from the outside air. Next, the system concentrates the heat and transfers warm air throughout the house via the indoor unit. On the other hand, in warmer weather, the heat pump will absorb heat from the indoor spaces, move it outside and return cool air inside.
3. How Efficient Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump only uses electricity to run the fan instead of converting it into thermal energy. As a result, it uses less power compared to other heating and cooling systems. These units have a very high ratio of heat output to energy input. When an appliance produces more energy than the information, we express it in the Coefficient of Performance (COP) rather than efficiency.
Most heat pumps have a COP of around 2 to 4.5. If a unit produces, for example, 2kW energy for every 1Kw electrical power consumed, it translates to a 200% performance efficiency. Since it’s impossible to have more than 100% efficiency, it implies that the heat pump has a COP of 2. It means that the heat pump produces twice as much heat as the electricity used under optimum conditions. Besides solar, heat pumps are the only heating appliances with higher COP than 1, making them the most efficient heating units currently available.
On the other hand, most heat pumps’ cooling energy efficiency levels range from two to four. This means that the system produces two to four times cooling power as the electricity consumed. You should pick a heat pump based on its primary use to maximize efficiency. For instance, if your heat pump’s primary purpose is to cool the house, choose one with a higher EER. Consider a high COP for heating purposes.
It’s also essential that you look at the ENERGY STAR rating label. The higher the score, the more efficient a heat pump is. Keep in mind that if the temperature differences between a source and supply increase; for instance, if the outside temperature drops, it lowers the heat pump’s energy efficiency. You should, therefore, check the recommended temperature range for a particular unit.
4. Correct Heat Pump Sizing
Proper heat pump sizing is of paramount importance if you wish to maintain your unit’s efficiency. If you buy an undersized heat pump, it will run continuously to meet the temperature demands. As a result, it might use more energy and even break down sooner than expected.
On the other hand, if you choose an oversized heat pump, it will quickly reach the set temperature. Hence, the system will cycle on and off repeatedly, resulting in poor humidity control and temperature fluctuations. Again, it stresses the heat pump, reducing the expected lifespan.
To pick the right heat pump size, consider the local climatic conditions and the days in a year you intend to use the unit. Keep in mind the number of occupants in the house and their temperature preferences.
The level of insulation in a home also affects the energy efficiency of your heat pump. Consider the number of windows and their location. Also, determine the heating and cooling needs in your house by calculating the square footage to help you pick the right size unit.
5. Other Benefits of Using a Heat Pump
Heat pumps require less maintenance compared to other heating and cooling systems. You will only need to schedule for annual maintenance. There even some tasks that you can do on your own, like cleaning the filters. Since there is no combustion process involves, heat pumps are a safer option. You won’t have to worry about carbon monoxide leaks that can pose death risks to your house occupants.
Additionally, heat pumps will heat your house during cold winter months and provide cooler air in summer, which improves comfort levels across all seasons. Again, the system comes with an air filter that traps contaminants to improve indoor air quality. They also control humidity to eliminate excess moisture in your house.
With the right maintenance, a heat pump can run for up to 50 years. On average most models will provide steady and reliable temperatures for around 15 years. You will enjoy unobstructed heating and cooling since they operate quietly. Most heat pump designs complement the interior décor of your house. You can even choose to install them concealed in the ceiling.
Knowledge, Skill, and Experience Right Here for You
Due to the massive benefits outlined above, it’s clear that a heat pump is a worthwhile investment. Its efficiency and lower running costs will help you save on your energy bills in the long run. There are even different heat pump types with unique mechanisms to suit diverse needs. However, be careful with ducted heat pumps since they can lead to energy loss and compromise the unit’s efficiency. If you must, have a professional install or check the conditions of your existing ductwork before installation. Whenever you need help with your heat pump, reach out to HB Home Service Team. We provide heat pump installation, routine maintenance, and prompt emergency services.
Our company also deals with furnaces, air conditioners, and ductless mini-split systems installations. We also handle boiler repairs, duct cleaning, geothermal systems installation, water softening, well systems maintenance, and repair. You can access our services if you reside in Maryland. Call our friendly representative today and book an appointment to enjoy any of our services. We look forward to serving all of your home climate comfort needs.