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, Energy.gov 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 things to consider:
- You’re looking to reduce energy expenses and the effect your system has on the environment.
- You’d like a milder form of heat instead of that blast of hot air that comes from a traditional furnace.
- You’re trying to get a more consistent temperature in every room of your home.
- You’re looking for a long-lasting HVAC option that won’t need to be replaced for several years.
The professional team at Efficient Heating and Cooling can help determine if a heat pump is right for your home. If you’re in the greater Cleveland area, contact our team today! Or, give us a call at 216-663-6462.