FAQs: Heat Pumps Explained

In some regions, winters are so harsh that it’s common for homeowners to face the surging costs of heating with propane or oil. The traditional ways of heating and cooling can be resource-intensive. If you’re planning to replace your commercial or residential AC in the near future, it’s a good idea to consider a heat pump.

FAQs: Heat Pumps Explained

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is more modern and less complicated than it sounds. It’s actually an appliance that’s capable of both heating and cooling a space. It’s also standalone, which means you can install one heat pump for every room.

There are typically two major components that make up a heat pump system: the outdoor and the indoor components. The outdoor component is a condenser that produces heat or cools the air, depending on what you need. It’s usually installed outdoors. The indoor component is installed on the interior side of an exterior wall. The indoor component is the one that moves the heated or cooled air into the space.

A heat pump is also sometimes called a “mini-split” residential air conditioner because the outdoor condenser and the indoor air cassette are “split” by a refrigerant line.

Heat pumps are popular for being highly efficient. They’re also preferred because they don’t require any ductwork, thus the term “ductless mini-split.”

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump extracts heat from the air outside an office, bedroom or any other space where it’s installed. It transfers this air to the refrigeration coolant, which is then compressed. The result is an increase in temperature. The coolant is moved to the “wall cassette” which is installed indoors, where the air passes over the hot coolant. This heats the air released into the room.

A heat pump typically comes with remote thermostat control, which allows you to use it for heating or cooling a room. For heating, the outdoor unit extracts heat from the air outside your home or office. The heat is carried to the indoor unit via the refrigerant line. The fan in the wall cassette transfers the heated air into the room. When it’s used to cool a room, the heat inside the room is transferred to the outside and cool air is returned to the room.

What Is the Benefit of Using a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is remarkably energy efficient. It uses electricity for power. However, unlike other means of heating, a heat pump only needs electricity to power the condenser and evaporator, compressor and pump. This leads to over three units of heat for every unit of consumed electricity, which means a heat pump is up to 300% efficient, which is what you want from a residential or commercial AC system.

If your home uses an electric baseboard or space heater, for example, you can expect only one unit of heat per unit of electricity, which is 100% efficient.

A heat pump can be equivalent to 300 gallons of oil typically used for heating. This means a heat pump is a lot more energy efficient than traditional heating equipment that uses fossil fuels. Each heat pump will add to your electric bill, but whatever amount it adds will be much lower than the energy you use to run a traditional heating system. Using a heat pump to offset some of the work of a primary heating system can save you money in the long term.

Can a Heat Pump Work During Cold Weather?

Yes. However, it’s important to hire a local residential or commercial AC contractor if you’d like to install a heat pump in your home or place of business. In addition to the other advantages of going local, this also ensures your contractor understands your climate and can recommend a heat pump designed for that kind of climate.

While it’s true that some heat pumps might lose some of their efficiency during extremely cold weather, most heat pumps won’t have a problem. If your heat pump is the wrong size for the space, it will have to work harder to maintain an indoor environment comfortable enough for its inhabitants.

Is a Heat Pump Enough to Meet Daily Heating Needs?

As long as it’s the right size, a heat pump can be used as a primary source of heat. But again, it’s important to hire a local contractor to install a heat pump that’s right for your climate. If you live in a region that gets extremely cold, you can use a heat pump as a secondary heating system to back up your primary heat source. You can delay using the primary heating appliance until the heat coming from your heat pump is no longer enough to keep your home warm. This way, your primary heat source doesn’t have to work twice as hard to keep your space comfortable. This will lower your energy costs, as well as prevent frequent HVAC repairs.

Is It Enough for Daily Cooling Needs?

Even if your area experiences very hot temperatures, a properly-installed, -maintained and -sized heat pump can keep your living or working environment cool and comfortable. It’s also a more efficient choice because you don’t have to worry about cooling parts of your office or home that are unoccupied.

Do Heat Pumps Work With Solar Power?

Yes. Installing solar panels is actually a very good idea to lower your electric bills overall. While you might still pay for some electricity supplied by your local utility company if you use your heat pump overnight or on rainy days, the use of solar panels can significantly reduce your electric bills. Heat pumps are the best option for cooling and heating if you use solar power because of their high energy efficiency.

To find out more about heat pumps, get in touch with Above Air Inc. We offer different services, including HVAC repair and installation. Call us now at these numbers: Broward (954) 341-0816 or Palm Beach (561) 488-0832, or contact us here.