One of the best parts about using a heat pump system for your HVAC needs is that they are year-round climate control systems—providing effective cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. As the weather begins to cool, now is the perfect time to start thinking about whether you need to make an upgrade to your HVAC systems, whether it be your heater or your air conditioner.
If you’re looking at new heating systems this fall, you would do well to consider the many advantages that a heat pump brings. A heat pump operates according to the same principles of a central air conditioning system, except that it has a reversing valve that allows it to heat during the winter, and they are great for climates like our with relatively mild winters.
How Does All of This Work?
To understand how a heat pump heats, it’s first important to know the role of refrigerant within an air conditioning system. Refrigerant circulates in an endless loop that enables it to cool the air within the system. Heat pumps use this same method, but with a unique spin. Standard air conditioners begin the refrigerant process by shifting the fluid from gaseous to liquid form, and placing it under a high level of pressure. The process releases heat into the air, which is vented outside of your home via your AC system’s outdoor unit.
The liquid refrigerant then enters the evaporator coil in a specific amount, where it shifts back to gaseous form. The process lowers the temperature in the surrounding air, which can then be blown into your home with a fan. The gaseous refrigerant then returns to the beginning of the loop to start the process over again.
Heat pumps use refrigerant in the same manner. But in the winter, this whole process can be reversed—cooling the air outside your home and releasing heat inside your home. This enables the system to serve as a heater and an air conditioner all in one package.
Are They Really That Beneficial?
Heat pumps are very reliable and effective air conditioners in the summer, but the big benefit comes in the fall and winter, as heat pumps cost much less to run than traditional furnaces, which consume gas or electricity to run. Heat pumps can allow you to comfortably warm your home at a small percentage of the same operating costs it would take for another system to do the same job.
It’s important to note that some heat pumps do have trouble during significantly cold days, however, our environment is mild enough that you shouldn’t have to be too concerned. If you decide a heat pump is not for you, there are a number of other options we provide. We’re here to help with all your HVAC and indoor air quality needs, whatever they might be.