We live in a part of the world with both blazing hot summers and icy cold winters. That means you need a means of keeping your home both cool and warm. Most of the time, that involves two distinct devices: an air conditioner to cool your home when it gets hot and a furnace or similar heater to warm the house when it gets cold. In some cases, however, your particular home may benefit from a heat pump, which combines both features into one. It can save you a great deal of money, particularly during our cold Ohio winters.
How Do They Work?
Heat pumps operate according to the same basic principles as air conditioning, albeit it with a singular twist. An air conditioner relies on a looped system circulating refrigerant through a series of valves and coils. First, it shifts from gaseous to liquid form, placed under a great deal of pressure in the process. This generates a lot of heat, which is usually released outside of your home. The pressurized refrigerant is then released into a coil array, where it shifts back into gaseous form, pulling heat from the nearby air in the process. A fan then blows the cool air into your home’s ducts, while the refrigerant returns to the start of the cycle.
Heat pumps work just like air conditioners do in the summer. In the winter, the loop can basically be reversed, cooling the air outside the home and releasing warm air inside the home. That allows it to serve both heating and air conditioning functions in one. They require specialized service to install and maintain the system, since there are key differences in their engineering that require specific training from professionals. The right service, however, can help your home take full advantage of the system’s benefits.
What Are the Advantages?
That may sound like much ado about nothing, beyond a few obvious advantages like saving space over separate heaters and air conditioners. But heat pumps often cost less to operate than other HVAC systems, particularly in the fall and winter, when the weather is cool. By using the cycling refrigerant to transfer heat, heat pumps use a lot less power than other forms of heating, cutting down on your monthly bills immeasurably.
Heat pumps tend to lose some of their efficiency during particularly cold days, which is why they’re often paired with a smaller furnace system to keep the home warm no matter what the weather. Even then, your system will enjoy considerable savings, making it easier than ever to keep your home warm and comfortable. And newer models are far more effective than the older ones, allowing them to be used without nearly as much assistance on even the coldest days.
If you’re looking to replace an older air conditioning system here in Columbus, OH, the friendly pros at Quality Air Heating and Air Conditioning can install a heat pump in your home. We can also keep it maintained and repair it in the event of a breakdown!