What You Should Know Before You Install A Residential Heat Pump

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Upgrading your home's heating and cooling unit to a heat pump system is a smart way to improve your interior environment while saving money over time. Because heat pumps come in a few forms, and with different efficiency values, finding the right one for your environment and household needs is important. So if you are considering upgrading your home heating and cooling system to a home heat pump, there are a few things you should know before you go through with the installation.

What a Heat Pump Does

Heat pumps are highly efficient HVAC systems that cool, ventilate, and heat your home on the basis of energy transfer against the natural flow. Heat energy comes from either air or ground sources in the external environment into your home's interior, whereby a heat pump conditions it using only electrical power and refrigerant. Pumping is a highly efficient process that harvests energy from your immediate environment without using gas or oil alternatives, and it can allow you to transfer energy to be used for both cooling and heating purposes in winter and summer months.

What Each Type Offers

The two basic types of heat pumps, air and ground, offer different advantages that are measured through coefficiency of performance (COP) values. Ground pumps exchange heat energy through circuits embedded into the ground, and air pumps work through vaporization of temperatures above absolute zero. Though both types are able to transfer heat with higher COP values than resistance units, ground types offer greater COP values, and therefore increased efficiency than air. However, when the ground stays considerably cooler than average, the performance efficiency of a ground unit will decrease.

Though ground heat pumps are typically more efficient at transfer, the cost of installing a ground-based unit is usually higher than one that harvests from air. This is because excavation must be performed to create underground loops, or field circuits that act to conduct the heat exchange.

HVAC Coupling Matters

When heat pumps are coupled to reversible mechanisms, energy byproducts expelled during transfer are used for other home services, like underfloor and water heating. Reversible mechanisms harvest the energy that is transferred and unused for conditioning, so you can increase your home's energy efficiency even more than if you use a one-way heat pump system. Even if you're cooling your home, the heat that's transferred from your interior to exterior can be coupled to your water heater unit, so no energy is ever wasted. 

For further assistance, contact a local HVAC contractor, such as one from Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc.