Heat Pumps – Double Duty from One System
The idea of choosing an HVAC system called a “heat pump” to both cool and heat your home can seem a bit confusing at first. The name is actually a perfect description of the way that the equipment works. Rather than generating heat like a conventional fuel-burning furnace, the system “pumps” heat from one location to another. In the summer, the system reverses, moving heat from inside your home to the outside. It’s an energy-efficient solution that does double duty in your Middleburg, FL home, keeping you comfortable in every season of the year.
How the Technology Works
Heat pumps use the same kind of technology as conventional air conditioners. As the system’s refrigerant cycles through the equipment, it’s turned from a hot liquid into a gas and back again into a liquid. As the liquid evaporates into a gas, the refrigerant pulls heat energy from the surrounding air, leaving the environment feeling cooler. A fan moves the extracted heat outside. In the winter, the system moves the heat inside to warm your home. Most systems are either air-source or ground-source pumps, also known as geothermal pumps.
- Air-Source Pumps. In the summer, air-source pumps work like traditional air conditioners. During the winter, the system extracts heat from the air outside. Even cold air contains heat, and in regions of the country like Florida, air-source pumps work surprisingly well.
- Geothermal Pumps. Geothermal pumps take advantage of the thermal energy trapped beneath the surface of the earth. Loops of pipe cycle the refrigerant into and out of the ground, moving the collected heat indoors during the winter. Geothermal pumps work the same way as air-source pumps in the summer, except that the earth is used as a heat sink.
Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling Solutions
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the HVAC systems with the word “heat” in the name are currently the most energy-efficient options available for both heating and cooling your home. Although geothermal pumps are more expensive to install than the air-source varieties, they can lower your monthly utility bills by as much as 70 percent. Ground-source pumps also last longer than other systems. The underground piping can last up to 50 years and the pumps can last 20 years or longer. Geothermal pumps also qualify for the residential federal renewable energy source tax credit, which can pay for up to 30 percent of the installation costs.
Like all HVAC systems, heat pumps work best when properly maintained. The EPA recommends that homeowners engage professional preventative maintenance services to optimize system energy efficiency. A well-maintained air-source or ground-source pump operates at up to 25 percent better efficiency than a neglected one, according to the EPA.
At Mike Merritt Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re pleased to offer double-duty systems designed to keep you comfortable in every season. For more information about energy-efficient systems for your home, contact our service specialists today.