For climates with moderate heating and air conditioning needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the colder season, they move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at one quarter of the cost of operating conventional HVAC appliances.
The most common type of heat pump is the air-source type, which transfers heat between your house and the outside air. If you heat with electricity, it can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 30% to 40%. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage in summer months. However, the efficiency of most air-source heat pumps drops dramatically at low temperatures, making them unsuitable for extremely cold climates.
A number of innovations are improving the performance of heat pumps.
Unlike standard compressors that can only operate at full capacity, two-speed compressors allow several benefits such as:
Some models are equipped with variable-speed or dual-speed motors on their indoor fans (blowers), outdoor fans, or both. The variable-speed controls for these fans attempt to keep the air moving at a comfortable velocity, minimizing cool drafts and maximizing electrical savings. It also minimizes the noise from the blower running at full speed.
Most heat pumps use electric resistance heaters as a backup for cold weather. However, they can also be equipped with burners to supplement the heat pump. Back-up burners help solve the problem of the heat pump delivering cool air during cold weather and reduces use of electricity.
Like all heating and cooling systems, proper maintenance is key to efficient operation. The difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10% to 25%.
Contact Apex Air today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for your heat pump installation.
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