Heat Pumps 101: Learn About This All-In-One Heating and Cooling System

Do you have a heat pump in your Vero Beach, Florida, home? If so, you know that you can use it as both a heater and air conditioner. However, you may wonder how it actually works. In this article, we’re going to discuss the basics of how heat pumps work and the benefits you’ll receive from this efficient heating and cooling system.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump simply transfers heat from one area to another. During the colder months, the heat pump extracts heat energy from the outside and transfers it to the inside of your home through the ductwork. When it’s hot, the heat pump takes warm air from your home and expels it outside. Keeping your ductwork cleaned helps keep the flow of air moving properly.

When in Heating Mode

In mild winters like Florida, there’s enough heat energy in the outside air for the heat pump to extract. The extracted outside air goes through a process of condensation and evaporation, which warms the air further and gets delivered into your home.

When in Cooling Mode

When the system is in cooling mode, the heat pump pulls hot air from inside of your home where cooling refrigerant absorbs it. The refrigerant gets circulated through the evaporator coil into the outside condenser unit, where the hot air gets expelled to the outside.

Heat Pump Maintenance

Whether the heat pump is in cooling or heating mode, the cycle works in a continuous loop to keep your home comfortable. It’s important to have your heat pump maintained so that it’s in peak condition when you turn it on. In addition to making sure the system is running efficiently, our comfort advisors can switch the reversing valve to make sure the direction of heat transfer is correct.

Benefits of a Heat Pump System

You only need one system for heating and cooling.

It’s rare that you’ll need a heater in the mild Florida winters. Because you’ll rarely use a heater, it’s not efficient to have a separate furnace installed when you use the air conditioner most of the time. The beauty of the heat pump system is that you have both an air conditioner and heater in one system.

Only one system to maintain.

With a heat pump, you don’t need to have two separate systems maintained. The maintenance for your heat pump is basically the same whether it’s in heating or cooling mode. You’ll save money by only having one system maintained.

Heat pumps are energy efficient.

Because heat pumps only transfer heat from one area to another as opposed to creating heat as a traditional furnace does, they use substantially less energy.

Benefits of the heating mode efficiency rating.

Using an efficiency equation called the Coefficient of Performance (COP), which rates the efficiency of a heat pump, most modern heat pumps have an average efficiency of 2 to 4. If the COP is 3, then the heat pump is putting out three times the amount of heat than the wattage it consumes to generate that heat. Compare this to an electrical resistance heater or a gas furnace that averages a COP of 1. The higher the COP rating, the more efficient the heating system.

Benefits of the cooling mode efficiency rating.

When using the heat pump as an air conditioner, pick a system that has a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) with numbers ranging from 14 to 17 or higher. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner system of the heat pump.

Save on energy bills.

Because of the high COP and SEER ratings, and the fact that you don’t have a separate gas or electrical system creating heat, you’ll see savings on your energy bills.

As you can see, a heat pump is ideal for your Florida home. If you would like to have a new heat pump installed or need servicing on your existing one, give our professional team at Miller’s Central Air, Inc. a call to schedule an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you at (772) 209-3778.

Image provided by iStock

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