Heat pumps may play second fiddle to furnaces and boilers for powerful home heating. However, heat pumps offer strategic advantages for maximum energy savings when the right features are selected.
Heat Pump Heating Basics
Heat pumps are like A/C systems that can pump refrigerant bidirectionally to provide home heating in addition to home cooling. A conventional air-source heat pump extracts heat energy from outdoor air, moves and releases heat energy inside the home at the evaporator coil. The high-efficiency refrigerant is placed under intense pressure and temperature changes, and with the aid of a blower, is able to efficiently extract heat from outdoor air to temperatures near the freezing point.
Features for Better Performance
The secret to leveraging the most efficient heat exchange and performance from a heat pump is choosing the best features. Some features can be shared with additional appliances, such as an electric storage water heater and a gas furnace.
Dual Fuel Heating — Since heat pumps can only efficiently heat a home to the freezing point, a backup heating system is required. In regions of the country with more moderate winter conditions, electric-resistance heat elements are used. However, in colder regions, a conventional gas furnace is ideally suited to provide powerful and efficient dual-fuel heating in sub-freezing temperatures.
Scroll compressor — Today’s high-tech heat pumps are quieter than ever. This is due largely to variable-stage compressors. Scroll compressors use fewer moving parts to compress refrigerant, which offers more efficient heating, less noise and longer-lasting performance for a higher return on investment.
Desuperheater — Would you like hot water for a fraction of the cost of electric storage water heating? When a heat pump is in ‘cool’ mode, an add-on component called a desuperheater can be used to harness hot waste gases for storage water heating and to heat pools and spas.
Work closely with your HVAC contractor to select the right heat pump features for your Wichita area home. For more information, please contact Comfort Systems today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pump features and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.