What is a Heat Pump, and Is It Right for My Home?
A heat pump is a home comfort system that transfers heat from one place to another. In the winter, a heat pump lets outdoor air inside and heats to create a comfortable environment. During the summer, the process is reversed with indoor heat being pushed outside, thus cooling things off.
Heat pumps are powered by electricity and therefore do not burn fossil fuels for heat as do furnaces. That’s a win for the environment, something that can’t win often enough.
How Does a Heat Pump Work?
A heat pump does not create warm or cold air. Instead, heat from the air (an air source heat pump) or from the ground (a geothermal heat pump) is redistributed via a refrigerant that circulates between the air handler and outdoor compressor.
In “heat mode”, heat is absorbed from the air or ground and released indoors. In the “cool mode”, heat from inside your home is absorbed and released outdoors.
Main Components of a Heat Pump
A heat pump is made up of the following:
- An indoor unit that contains a coil and fan to circulate air throughout a home
- An outdoor unit with a coil that acts as an evaporator in heat mode and a condenser in cool mode
- Refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it moves through the system
- A compressor that pressurizes the refrigerant
- An expansion valve that regulates the flow of refrigerant
- A reversing valve that facilitates the shift from cooling to heating by changing the direction of the refrigerant
Is a Heat Pump Right for Me?
As a primary source of heat, heat pumps work best in warmer climates than northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire are known for. However, it can still perform well locally when used in conjunction with a furnace. This type of system is often called a “dual fuel” system. Once the outdoor temperature drops too low for the heat pump to operate effectively, the furnace will kick in to generate heat. It can be a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to heat a home.
There are multiple scenarios when heat pumps often are and even should be seriously considered. If, for example, you’re planning to build a new home, a heat pump replaces two systems with one thus reducing installation, maintenance, repair, and energy costs. Heat pumps are also great choices for home additions or when you need to replace both home comfort systems at once. To learn more and request a free proposal and new system quote, contact Correct Temp today.