In technical terms, a heat pump is a mechanical refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool an enclosed space. Installation for this type of system typically consists of two parts: an indoor unit (called an air handler) and an outdoor unit similar to a central air conditioner, but referred to as a heat pump. A compressor circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units in copper piping called a line set.
A heat pump is essentially a heat exchanger. It is constantly moving warm air from one place to another, to where its needed or not needed, depending on the season. Even in air that seems very cold, heat energy is present. When it’s cold outside a heat pump extracts this outside heat and transfers it inside. When it’s warm outside, it reverses directions and removes heat from the air inside your home, disposing of it outside.
The efficiency of how a heat pump uses electricity to transfer heat between inside and outside, is measured in units called SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient a heat pump is. A higher SEER rating means a lower power bill.
Higher efficiency systems can also be tax credit qualifying. Sizing a Heat Pump for the load of conditioning a given space is as much an art as a science. A bigger system is not always better. Systems that are too large or too small will not efficiently condition your space, adequately remove humidity, or provide consistent comfort.
Like your auto, your Heat Pump is a mechanical system with many moving parts, motors, belts, fans, pressurized lines & electrical components. Also like your car this delicate system operates under stressful weather conditions at all hours, protecting your family. So it stands to reason that your Heat Pump also requires regular maintenance- just like your car. If you don’t change your oil, how long will your engine last? Your Heat Pump is the same.
Keeping your coil clean, ensuring adequate voltages and pressures, and correcting small issues before they become big expensive problems is what seasonal maintenance on your system is for. Regular maintenance can double the life of your equipment, while lowering your power bills up to 20% over a comparable, but unmaintained system. Heat Pumps today can be configured with many features. Smart Home controls can automate your system’s operation; you can add a UV air cleaner or a whole house humidifier; or even control your system remotely with an app on your phone!
If you are considering a new Heat Pump, you have more options now than ever before. We have over 40 years’ experience installing Richmond’s comfort systems. Call us and learn why Guirkin should install your new Heat Pump.