We live in a part of the country with cool but relatively mild winters. That presents homeowners with an opportunity to change up their heating and air conditioning options if they so wish. Most homes around here use centralized heating and air conditioning systems, which are typically two separate units (an AC and a furnace or similar type of heater). Heat pumps offer a different approach to that equation: combining the functions of a heater and an air conditioner into one single unit. That can provide a number of benefits to your home, and if you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, now is the ideal time to consider them.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
In essence, a heat pump differs little from a traditional centralized air conditioner, and when it comes to cooling your home, they work in a much similar manner. Refrigerant cycles in an endless loop through the system, passing through a series of valves and coils that facilitate the cooling process. It starts the cycle in gaseous form before being shifted to liquid form and placed under a great deal of pressure. The excess heat is released outside your home in the process. The liquefied refrigerant then enters a set of cooling coils, where it shifts back to gaseous form: pulling heat from the air around the coils in the process. The cool air can then be blown into your house through the ducts with a fan, while the gaseous refrigerant returns to the start of the cycle to begin the process anew.
Heat pumps simply add a wrinkle to that equation. The cycle can essentially be reversed, meaning the heated air can be released inside the system and blown into your home while the air outside the home can be cooled. That allows the heat pump to both warm your home in the winter and cool it in the summer.
What Are the Benefits?
That may sound like a lot of effort for little effect, but in fact, a heat pump can save you a great deal of money. Refrigerant isn’t consumed the way gas or similar forms of heater fuel are. While your system can lose refrigerant over time from leaks or other issues, the refrigerant can theoretically last forever. That allows it to heat your home for much less energy than a traditional furnace might, which in turn means you can heat your home for far less money than you might with a traditional heater. Heat pumps work best when temperatures stay above freezing, which is why they work better here than they would further north, but many of them are paired with smaller furnaces (called “dual fuel systems,”) that still provide a great deal of savings over more traditional furnaces. And because they provide air conditioning too, they neatly roll all of your heating and cooling needs into a single easy package.
If a heat pump sounds like a great addition to your Dallas, TX home, or you already have a heat pump that needs maintenance or care, call Earthwise Home Services today!