If you are new to owning a house, you probably have a very vague idea about how your home’s HVAC system works. Most of us who are used to renting have this knowledge: you set a temperature on a thermostat and a cold/warm air blows out of the vents. Landlord will take care of the rest.
Once you become a homeowner, you are all of a sudden responsible for all the maintenance and other important decisions related to your DC HVAC system. At Discount Appliance Repair, we would like to expand your knowledge of home heating and cooling by introducing you to heat pumps.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is exactly as it sounds: a pump. And your AC unit is essentially a heat pump, because it moves air. A heat pump system, on the other side, is a slightly different mechanism. It consists of an indoor and an outdoor unit that exchange air between each other. A heat pump can do everything your AC does, and even more.
How it works
In summer, heat pump can duplicate the function of the air conditioning unit by pulling the warm air out of the house and replacing it with cold air. In winter, however, a heat pump can do the opposite: remove warmth from the outside air and distribute it around your home. Therefore, a heat pump can both cool and heat your home.
Types of heat pumps
- Air-to-air (air source) system: transfers heat from the outside air
- Water-to-air (geothermal or ground source) system: transfers heat from the ground or underground water
Benefits of a heat pump system
- Low electricity consumption all year around
- It doesn’t burn oxygen and create stuffiness
- It is not limited by the amount of energy needed to generate heat, because it doesn’t generate heat – it moves it.
- Long life expectancy and dependability
- Better heat transfer and more even heating
- It doubles as a dehumidifier and air purifier, and can even move the air without heating or cooling it to disrupt stuffiness
- It doesn’t pollute the atmosphere with combustion products
Limitation of a heat pump system
- High initial cost
- Need regular servicing and maintenance
- Ideal for moderate climates where average winter temperature doesn’t drop below 30 F
- As the outside temperature decreases, so does heat pump’s heating ability: the ideal temperature range for winter is 30 to 60 degrees F.
- For colder climates, an additional heating source is needed, such as a furnace to replace a heat pump or an air handle to assist heat distribution.
Do you have a better idea about heat pumps? They might not be perfect for every home, but if you live in a climate with mild winters, like in Virginia, you can see some great benefits. If you already have a heat pump system in place and need servicing or appliance repair in Virginia (after all, heat pump is an appliance), let us know!