A heat pump seems like an almost miraculous machine: a single unit that takes the principles of an air conditioner and uses it to provide heating as well. But in theory a heat pump is quite simple: if you’ve ever walked behind the outdoor unit of an air conditioner when it was working, you’ve noticed warm air blowing from its fans. That’s the action of the AC removing heat from indoors and placing it outdoors. So what would happen if you swapped the indoor and outdoor unit? Presto! Heat pumped into your home. A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can switch the direction it moves heat.
But there’s another important advantage to a heat pump aside from its dual function: a heat pump can save you money on heating during the winter. We’ll explain how this works. If you’re interested in heat pump installation, or if you have need for repairs or maintenance on your home heating in St. Augustine, FL, call the skilled technicians at Climate Masters today.
The Secret of a Heat Pump’s Efficient Operation
Okay, it’s not really a “secret.” It’s simply the difference between heat creation and heat exchange. Most heating systems create heat: they burn a fuel source to raise the temperature of air (a furnace) or water (a boiler). This uses a large amount of fuel. In the case of an electric furnace or boiler, it requires an enormous amount of electric current running through the heating elements in order to raise the temperature of the air or water.
It’s different with heat pumps. They also run on electricity, but they do not use this electricity to heat up the air the fans send through their vents. Instead of creating heat, heat pumps move heat around: from the outside to the inside in heating mode, and from the inside to the outside in cooling mode. This process is called heat exchange. The heat pump only needs electricity to run its mechanical parts.
How much of a difference does this make? The U.S. EPA conducted a study to see the difference in heating bills when families switched from a furnace to a heat pump. On average, families paid 30% less per year with a heat pump.
There Has to Be a Downside, Right?
Yes, heat pumps do have one negative… but fortunately, it isn’t one that matters much in Florida. During sub-freezing temperatures, heat pumps can have trouble extracting sufficient heat from outside. Don’t expect this to be a problem in our climate.
Please keep in mind that no matter what advantages a heat pump has, it isn’t necessarily the best choice for your home’s heating in St. Augustine. This is why you’ll need the assistance of experienced professionals, like those at Climate Masters, to find the ideal option for providing you effective and economical heating.
For questions and heating service needs regarding heat pumps in St. Augustine, give us a call today and speak with one of our HVAC specialists!