Understanding Heat Pumps

January 7, 2019

It’s pretty likely you already have a heat pump in your home. The common household refrigerator uses a heat pump, transferring heat from the inside of an insulated box to the outside. The same technology can be applied to your whole house, to both cool your home in summer and heat your home in winter. A heat pump operates by circulating a liquid refrigerant through a cycle of evaporation and condensation, continuously picking up heat from one area and transferring it to another, in one of two configurations. An air-source heat pump looks and acts much like a common central air conditioner, with one unit outside your home and another inside, connected to conventional ductwork. A ground-source heat pump transfers heat between your home and the earth, either in an open-loop system using well water, or a closed loop system with pipes buried underground. The underground pipes may be laid out horizontally beneath the frost line, or vertically in holes bored down a hundred meters or more. Using a heat pump, your electric bill will be higher than if you were to use a traditional gas furnace, but modern heat pumps are so efficient you’ll likely break even, or better. Additional savings may be possible by using the excess heat from the heat pump to supplement your household’s hot water supply. Like furnaces and air conditioners, heat pump efficiency is indicated by an EnerGuide label and the most efficient units qualify for the Energy Star rating. There are many factors to consider – size and condition of the house, available land, local climate, and more. Speak with a trained and experienced heating and ventilation consultant before determining whether a heat pump is right for you. Oosterveld Heating and Air Conditioning has just the team you need. Call today!

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