Heat pumps are a highly efficient method of keeping your home comfortable during the dog days of summer or the dead of winter; however, they can seem somewhat confusing to those who are not familiar with the technology. The following looks at some of the most common questions we get from customers about heat pumps.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is an appliance that uses electricity along with refrigerant technology to heat and cool a home without the need for ductwork. It consists of a condenser, which is normally situated outdoors, and an indoor unit.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
In heating mode, a fan on the outdoor portion of the heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air. The air passes over refrigeration coolant, which is compressed to increase its temperature. The coolant is then transferred to the indoor unit. Air passes over the heated coolant until it reaches the desired temperature. A fan then distributes the air throughout the home. The process is reversed when the heat pump is in cooling mode.
What are the benefits of installing a heat pump?
Heat pumps only use electricity to power the fans in the outdoor and indoor units and not for generating heat. This allows for greater efficiency than with other heat sources. For example, electric heat produces one unit of heat for every unit of electricity consumed. Heat pumps can produce as much as three units of heat for every unit of electricity. This translates to a lower electricity bill and a reduced carbon footprint.
Can heat pumps be used in extremely cold climates?
Most heat pumps are still effective at temperatures at or below zero even though the efficiency will be reduced since the unit has to work harder to compensate for heat loss in order to keep your home at the desired temperature.
Can I use a heat pump as my sole heat source?
Since we can experience long periods of extremely cold temperatures in Minnesota, we recommend that you equip your home with a backup heat source for those times when the heat pump may have difficulty compensating for the heat loss. This will help keep your heating costs as low as possible while ensuring that your family stays warm and toasty on even the coldest days.
Whether you need an emergency repair or are looking to upgrade your HVAC system, contact us today. Our expert technicians are ready and able to handle all of your HVAC needs.