All things considered, and compared to other parts of the country, it’s safe to call our average winters “mild.” Of course, even though that’s true, for those of us who have lived here for quite some time, we know that 30° nights can be unbearable, without an efficient and effective heating system in place! After all, you’d like to make it through winter as healthfully as possible, right?
Well if you are in the market for a new heater this year, there are many to choose from, but we want to talk about one in particular—the heat pump. This type of HVAC system is pretty unique in its operation, and our climate is great for this type of system. Keep reading for some of the benefits of using a heat pump to keep your home comfortable.
How Does a Heat Pump Work?
First, let’s talk about the operation of a heat pump system—after all you need to understand this in order to know how it benefits you. First off, heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling a home, because they rely on a heat transfer process, instead of generating new heat. This process is made possible by a refrigerant.
In the summertime, a heat pump functions like a traditional central air conditioner, in that refrigerant is evaporated in the indoor coil, which enables the system to absorb heat from the air in the home. The heat is then vented outdoors, as the refrigerant is condensed in the outdoor coil. Unlike a traditional air conditioner, though, the heat pump is capable of reversing this refrigerant cycle, allowing it to effectively heat your home, too.
A reversing valve is the component responsible for switching heat pump modes and reversing the refrigerant cycle. The function of the indoor and outdoor coils of the system is switched, meaning heat is now absorbed from the air outside, due to the evaporation of refrigerant. This refrigerant is condensed indoors, and its heat is used to heat your home.
All this leads us to that list of benefits we promised you:
- In cooling mode, a heat pump runs in longer cycles, allowing it to dehumidify your air more than a traditional AC would. No, it’s not a dehumidifier, but it does help the system more efficiently cool your home.
- In heating mode, a heat pump uses up to 50% less electricity than an electric furnace or baseboard heater would. This boosts efficiency and affordability month-to-month.
- A heat pump enables you to heat and cool your entire home with just one system, eliminating the need to designated heating and cooling systems, and saving you space on your property!
- Heat pumps are also available in ductless models, which—as the name implies—don’t require ductwork. This means if you don’t already have a central HVAC system in place, you don’t have to worry about making space for bulky ductwork. You also don’t have to worry about losing conditioned air through damaged ducts, or dealing with the indoor air quality problems that can afflict your household when allergens come in through your vents.