If you’re in need of a new heating and cooling system for your home that offers high energy-efficiency levels year-round, consider an air-source heat pump. The only fuel these systems use is electricity and their efficiency comes from their ability to move heat from one place to another. In the summer, they remove the heat from your home and in the summer, they harvest it from the air, bringing it inside.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a well-maintained air-source heat pump provides up to 300 percent more heat than each watt of electricity they use. Since heat pumps reverse the process in the summer, their efficiency at removing your home’s heat is just as high as it is in the winter, on a par with high-efficiency A/C units. Efficiency in heat pumps is measured by their SEER rating and HSPF, which stand for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and heating season performance factor, respectively. Higher ratings indicate better efficiency.
Heat pumps have three main components. The first is the outdoor compressor, the second is the air handler indoors, and the third is the thermostat.
- The outdoor compressor conditions the refrigerant for heating or cooling. In the winter, the pump takes heat out of the air to warm the refrigerant. In the summer, this part extracts the heat that the refrigerant carries from the inside components of the heat pump.
- The air handler contains the evaporator coil, over which the air handler blows air, picking up the heat or cold inside the refrigerant coils that run through the evaporator.
- The thermostat controls the entire operation. Although an air-source heat pump has high energy efficiency, in the winter, a backup electrical coil may kick in when temperatures drop into the low 30s. This raises the cost of running a heat pump when it’s cold out, but dedicated heat pump thermostats lower the cost by using smart technology that runs the pump more often, avoiding the supplemental coil.
If you’d like more information about how heat pumps can lower your energy bills, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the San Joaquin Valley since 1970.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air-source heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.