Heat pumps are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. They are an increasingly popular option for the efficient heating and cooling of your home all year long. These systems act like an air conditioner in the warmer months and then heat your home in the cooler months. A heat pump installation from MoreVent not only keeps your house comfortable year-round but also saves money.
How a Heat Pump Works
Heat pumps, unlike furnaces, don’t generate their own heat. Instead, they extract it from the air (or the ground in the case of ground-source heat pumps). Heat is found in any air with a temperature above -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, heat pumps gather heat from outdoor air and transfer it indoors to circulate through the ductwork, efficiently heating the home. During warm summer months the process is reversed. Heat is removed from indoor air and sent outside, cooling down the home. This process of extracting heat from air allows the use of a single system to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature instead of installing both a heating system and cooling system. In addition to the initial cost savings of a single unit purchase, required maintenance and repairs are also limited to the single system.
Humidity and the Heat Pump
A beneficial side effect of the cooling of indoor air by a heat pump is dehumidification. When a space has high humidity, it can feel stuffy and uncomfortable. When humidity levels in a home decline, it feels cooler. A space with high humidity also takes more work to cool down due to the heat retaining ability of the moisture in the air, this translates to increased energy costs.
Which Heat Pump is Right for You?
Air-Source Heat Pump: The air-to-air heat pump is the least involved pump to install and the unit itself is compact in comparison. For this reason, air-source heat pumps are often the least expensive option. They are energy efficient in mild to moderate climates. The U.S. Department of Energy states that, “When properly installed, an air-source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes.” They may become less efficient than ground-source heat pumps in climates dealing with extreme cold temperatures. However, in recent years, technology advancement in the air-source heat pump arena has allowed their successful use in colder regions.
Ground-Source Heat Pump: Ground-source heat pumps are also referred to as geothermal heat pump. Webster defines geothermal as “of, relating to, or utilizing the heat of the earth’s interior.” This is precisely how the different varieties of ground-source heat pump operate. They take heat energy from the earth around a home’s foundation and move it into the home. This is especially effective in the winter months and makes ground-source heat pumps the most efficient variety. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy states that geothermal heat pump “technology has been keeping consumers comfortable for more than 50 years and can cut energy bills by up to 65% compared to traditional HVAC units.” The ground-source system is also generally quieter and more consistent than the air-source system. The reason it is not more widely used is the higher cost associated with the correct installation of this system that involves excavation. After the initial install, these heat pumps pay for themselves over time due to reduced cooling and heating costs.
Water-Source Heat Pump: The water-source heat pump is often less expensive to install than other geothermal pump types. However, it is a suitable option only if you have a pond, lake, or water source near your home. The size of the home to be heated and the consistency of the water flow, especially in the winter months, may also affect the efficiency of this type of heat pump.
As you investigate the different varieties of heat pumps, you will discover different options within each type. Visit with your MoreVent technician as you decide which heat pump installation is best for your specific needs.
Heat Pump Maintenance and Proper Use
As is the case with an electric or gas furnace, a heat pump will require scheduled maintenance to keep it in top running condition. A notable difference is visible in the energy consumption of a poorly-maintained system versus a well-maintained system. An annual maintenance visit from a MoreVent technician to service the heat pump is of great benefit to the current efficiency and long-term life of the system.