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How Heat Pumps Work

How Heat Pumps Work

By on Jul 29, 2019 in Heat Pump |

For residents that live in climates with moderate heating and cooling needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space in your home to a warmer space. This makes the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During seasons that require the use of heat, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house. During cool seasons, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because heat pumps move heat rather than generate heat, they can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances regularly. There are three types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside. The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump. This type of heat pump transfers heat between your house and outside. Modern heat pumps can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50 percent compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling in summer months. Air-source heat pumps have been used for many years in nearly all parts of the United States, but until recently they have not been used in areas that experienced extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. However, in recent years, air-source heat pump technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions such as the Midwest. For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version called a mini-split heat pump. In addition, a special type of air-source heat pump called a “reverse cycle chiller” generates hot and cold water rather than air, allowing it to be used with radiant floor heating systems that are in heating mode. Geothermal (ground-source or water-source) heat pumps achieve higher efficiencies by transferring heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. Although they cost more to install, geothermal heat pumps have...

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How to Keep a Heat Pump from Freezing

By on Dec 4, 2017 in Heat Pump |

During certain weather conditions, it’s normal for the coils of your heat pump to be covered in a light frost, or even ice over. Throughout the winter in particular, it’s common for heat pumps to ice-up. However, if the entire unit, including the coils and the top of the unit, are covered in thicker ice, this could be a sign of a problem. To make sure you’re keeping your home as energy-efficient as possible and to avoid any major damage to your HVAC system, it’s important to address this issue as soon as possible. Troubleshooting Tips for Freezing Heat Pumps As the heat pump generates heat, the refrigerant turns into gas form as it reaches the outdoor coil. As it condenses and releases moisture, a defrost component helps melt the moisture if it freezes. However, if there’s some sort of malfunction, ice can build up on the coil much thicker than it should. This is why if you have a heat pump, it’s important to inspect the unit throughout the winter so you can watch out for ice building up on the coils or other components. Here are a few troubleshooting tips you can try to ensure your heat pump does not freeze up this winter: Replace dirty or clogged filters. Dirty filters can restrict the airflow to the coils, so make sure to check the filter regularly. If it’s seen better days, it’s time to replace it. In fact, make a reminder on your calendar to replace the air filter on a monthly basis to keep everything working efficiently. Unblock indoor air registers. If furniture, drapery, doors or carpeting is blocking any of the registers in your home, this could also decrease the airflow to the coils and cause ice to build up. This winter, check around the house to ensure all registers are exposed as they should be. Repair dripping gutters. If your unit is located beneath gutters, make sure there are no leaks dripping down onto the outdoor unit and causing ice to accumulate. Inspect the gutters near your unit regularly and promptly fix any issues. Clear the area around the unit. Keep the outdoor unit free of snow, leaves, dirt, twigs, and any other type...

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How Does a Heat Pump Work?

By on May 22, 2017 in Heat Pump |

Heat pumps got their name because they “pump” heat into your home throughout the cold months, and pump it out during the warmer seasons. They’re well known as cost-effective systems, especially for homes that utilize electricity for heating and cooling. In fact, estimates a heat pump can reduce energy usage in all-electric homes by up to 40 percent. As an added bonus, heat pumps are also more eco-friendly than a furnace because they do not burn fuel to create heat. A heat pump can also be utilized with a traditional heating and cooling system in order to ensure optimal results during frigid temperatures. Heat Pump Basics Heat pumps have been used for heating and cooling around the world for decades. In fact, refrigerators have long been using the same technology as a heat pump. So, how exactly do they work, and is a heat pump right for your home? There are two basic parts to a heat pump: an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit resembles a standard central air conditioner in both appearance and size, and contains the compressor. The compressor is responsible for doing the bulk of the work; it’s the part that circulates refrigerant through the system. The indoor unit, called the air handler, looks just like a gas furnace. We mentioned that refrigerators work the same way as a heat pump for your furnace. Your fridge removes unwanted heat that builds inside when the door is opened or warm food is set placed on a shelf; think about how warm the heat feels coming from the exhaust fan. In a heat pump, there’s a refrigerant liquid that circulates between the indoor and outdoor units that absorbs and releases heat as it travels through the system. A heat pump pulls the warm air inside your home in the winter and delivers it inside to keep the air toasty. In the summer, the opposite occurs. The heat pump will extract the hot air indoors and push it outside to keep your home cool and reduce humidity levels. Now that you know how a heat pump works, should you consider installing one when you’re ready to upgrade your HVAC system? There are a few...

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3 Common Heat Pump Problems

By on Nov 7, 2016 in Heat Pump |

A heat pump is a mechanical or electrical device that moves heat from one area and transfers it to another. Because heat energy is always present, even in cold weather, a heat pump will extract this energy and transfer it inside. Likewise, when it’s warm outside, a heat pump will reverse direction, removing warm air from your home. Since it moves heat instead of generates it and is powered by electricity instead of fuel, a heat pump can be an energy efficient solution for your home. Heat Pump Troubleshooting Like any system in your home, it’s not unusual to experience heat pump problems from time to time. In some cases, knowing some basic heat pump troubleshooting steps can alleviate the need to call in the professionals. Of course, when in doubt, you should never hesitate to contact a top notch professional company like Efficient Heating and Cooling! Here are three of the most common heat pump problems and what you can do to try to resolve them on your own: Heat pump isn’t turning on. If the heat pump fails to turn on, there’s most likely a problem with the thermostat or the unit receiving the power. Check the electrical panel and any other connections that supply power to the unit; it’s possible that the circuit breaker simply needs to be reset. If you notice issues like frayed wires, professional help may be needed to replace them. Heat pump is running constantly. Throughout a cold, bitter winter, it might seem like your heat pump never shuts off. However, keep in mind that heat pumps do run longer and put out less heat than a typical furnace. Still, if the weather isn’t that frigid and the heat pump is still running nonstop, it could be caused by an issue like leaking refrigerant, a frozen outdoor unit, a dirty system, etc. These types of heat pump problems will need to be resolved by a professional. Heat pump isn’t sufficiently heating the home. If the fan is running but the air coming out of the vents still feels cool, try setting the thermostat to emergency heat to see if that warms it up. If that works, there could be a problem with...

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Heat Pump

By on Apr 27, 2015 in Heat Pump |

A heat pump provides an energy efficient way to heat your home in the winter and cool it down in the summer. It pulls from the ground or outside air temperature to heat or cool your home and can be an alternative to traditional furnaces and air conditioners. They are more commonly used in milder climates like the south, but according to, if you heat your home with electricity, they can reduce the amount of energy you use for heating by about 30-40%. Heat Pump Efficiency Tips Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, allowing the cool space to get even cooler and the warm space to get warmer. Because a heat pump moves heat rather than actually generates heat itself, using one provides the same amount of heat or cooling as a traditional system at around a quarter of the cost. Keep your heat pump efficiency at an optimal level by following these tips: Ensure your home is already as energy efficient as possible. Making sure that your home is already energy efficient involves a few things you can easily do on your own. For instance, seal off any cracks or gaps in the home that may be allowing outside air in, and check your insulation in the attic to make sure it’s up to code. Use a programmable thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat is key to lowering your monthly energy costs, especially when you have a heat pump. Just make sure you have a programmable thermostat that is designed to specifically work with a heat pump. Change the filter regularly. You air filter helps improve the indoor air quality in your home and when changed regularly, can help increase the life of your HVAC system. A clean filter will help your heat pump run as efficiently as possible. Keep the air flowing. Your heat pump needs proper air flow through the house to work efficiently. Never close off more than two vents in a room so air can be distributed evenly throughout the room. Also, make sure the outside unit is free from debris like grass and leaves for unobstructed air flow. Call a technician for issues. If...

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Common Questions About Heat Pumps

By on Jun 23, 2014 in Cleveland, Heat Pump, Residential |

Keeping your Cleveland area home at a comfortable temperature without spending an exorbitant amount of money can seem challenging during the winter and summer. However, a heat pump is a viable alternative option that can heat and cool your home more efficiently. What is a Heat Pump? A heat pump is a cost-effective system that transfers heat in or out of your home depending on the season. For example, this device will pull the heat out of your home and release it outside during the summer. In the winter months, a heat pump is able to tap into the heat that is still available in the air and push it into your home to keep you warm. Even on a very cold day, there is still enough heat in the outside air to accomplish this task. As an added bonus, this system is more eco-friendly than a furnace because it does not burn fuel to create heat. A heat pump can also be utilized with a traditional heating and cooling system in order to ensure optimal results during frigid temperatures. Are Heat Pumps a Good Option for Homeowners? It is a good idea to look into a heat pump if you want to reduce your expenses and the strain that your household puts on the environment. Additionally, switching to this system will provide you with a milder form of heat. This can be very beneficial for people who do not like the extreme blast of warm air that is pushed through their house with a traditional heating and cooling unit. Some of the other perks include a more consistent temperature in each room and a long life expectancy that will prevent you from needing to replace your heat pump for many years. What Factors Should I Consider When Installing a Heat Pump? Heat pumps are an effective and budget friendly method for maintaining a consistently comfortable temperature when it is 32° or warmer outside. However, you might need a supplemental source such as a traditional unit to help compensate when the temperature drops below freezing. Fortunately, your heater will only begin working when the heat pump needs assistance, so you do not need to worry about receiving large gas...

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