What is a Heat Pump?


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Simply put, heat pumps transfer heat from a cool place to a warm place, making the cool place cooler and the warm place warmer in the process. This means that, when it is cold outside, they move heat into your home and, when it’s hot outside (which is most of the time in South Florida), they move heat out of your home. Because heat pumps are transferring heat rather than generating heat, they’re an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional furnaces and air conditioner.

In fact, studies show that switching from a traditional furnaces and air conditioner to a heat pump saves the average U.S. household $557 per year on heating and cooling and produces 3 metric tons less of carbon emissions per year – this is a nearly equivalent to giving up your car!

Like central air conditioners, heat pumps have two main components, an indoor air handler and an outdoor unit with a compressor that circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units.

Mitsubishi Electric AC Contractors Deerfield Beach, FL

So how do they work? When cooling your home, heat pumps work in much the same way as a traditional air conditioning system (or your refrigerator); a refrigerant absorbs the heat inside your home and transfers it outside. That said, they do a much better job of dehumidifying your home, so they use less energy to cool your home in the summer months.

But how do they absorb heat when it’s cold outside? Because the refrigerant is, generally, colder than the air outside (liquid refrigerant is between 40° and 50° Fahrenheit when it enters the evaporator coil) it can absorb heat by circling the refrigerant in the outdoor unit. The refrigerant is then vaporized and compressed, and that heated vapor moves into the indoor unit to heat your home.

What if the temperature drops below 40 degrees? If you live in an area where this is a frequent occurrence, you may want to consider a furnace. Those of us in areas where temperatures rarely fall below 40 degrees, will find that a heat pump will adequately heat your home on those rare occasions and it will do it for considerably less money than a gas or oil furnace would.

For homes (or areas of the home) that don’t have ducts, or if you simply prefer the advanced filtration of pollutants, smoke, odors, and other allergens that a mini-split system offers, you’ll be happy to know that ductless heat pumps are available and they’re up to 40% more efficient than a conventional system - and they don’t burn any fossil fuels!

If you are ready to upgrade to heat pump, and you’re in Broward or Palm Beach, call (561) 861-3345 or (561) 861-3345. We’ll help you find the perfect heating and cooling solution for your needs.

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