A heat pump is an alternative to conventional furnaces, air conditioners and central HVAC systems. Essentially, a heat pump works by removing the heat from the air in one location and redistributing it to another. In the winter, the system will draw thermal energy from the outdoor air and pump it into your home. In the summer, the pump will extract the heat from the air inside of your home and release it outside. Heat pumps can affect both the temperature and the humidity levels of your indoor air, making them extremely versatile.
These systems, as they’re used in residential settings, consist of three major components: an indoor air handling unit, an outdoor compressor unit, and a network of ducts which distributes treated air throughout your home. Heat transfer is achieved with a refrigerant, which is circulated through the coils that link the indoor and outdoor components. During the summer, this refrigerant will absorb heat from the air inside your home and release it outdoors. With the absence of heat, you’re home will be left with cooled air which is circulated throughout your living space.
While heat pumps are very efficient and affordable, one of their disadvantages is that they are somewhat limited in the range of temperatures to which they can heat or cool air. In the summertime, you may need to use a supplemental air conditioner, though you can get heat pumps which have backup coils built into the air handling unit. In simple terms, this creates a “extra gear” that allows for a greater quantity of cool air to be distributed into your home on particularly hot days.
Remember, too, that these systems are also given SEER ratings, just like regular air conditioners, which indicate the overall energy efficiency of the equipment. The higher a given unit’s efficiency rating, the more effectively it converts its energy input into heated or cooled air. While units with higher SEER ratings tend to be more expensive initially, they also cost less to operate, saving you money over the long run.
At Aladdin Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about alternatives to conventional air conditioners. We serve Michigan customers throughout Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pump systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Aladding Heating & Cooling services the Detroit, Michigan and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.