One large part of choosing the right heating and cooling equipment for your Rochester, MN home is learning how each option works. Heat pumps have been around for decades. However, their year-round effectiveness and impressive efficiency are making them an increasingly popular choice. With tax credits and rebates, their popularity is only expected to increase even more. Whether for modernizing your home or reducing your carbon footprint, if you’re curious about heat pumps and how they work, read on.
What Is a Heat Pump?
Heat pumps are installed outdoors either mounted on the home or on flat, level slabs in the side or rear yards of homes. Like air conditioners, heat pumps have combined compressor/condenser units and evaporator coils either with a furnace or inside an air handler. Despite their name, they don’t actually produce heat. Instead, heat pumps source heat from the interior of buildings or from the outside air. Their ability to source heat both indoors and out makes them capable of providing reliable heating and cooling.
Understanding a Heat Pump’s Cooling Process
In cooling mode, a heat pump is functionally identical to an air conditioner. During the late spring and summer months, heat pumps collect warm indoor air and transfer it outside. The warm air that’s drawn into a heat pump during its cooling cycle passes over its evaporator coil. The heat from this air is absorbed by the unit’s refrigerant, which cools the air passing over the evaporator, and the chilled air is then cycled back into the building.
Hot refrigerant is pumped to the outdoor condensing unit where its heat is removed at the condenser coil. This heat is then released outside. The cold refrigerant flows back to the unit’s evaporator coil, and the entire cooling cycle begins again.
Using a Heat Pump in Winter
In winter, heat pumps use the same process to warm buildings up. They simply do it in reverse. Most heat pumps can source adequate heat from the outdoor air to create cozy, comfortable temperatures inside of buildings as long as the temperature outside is at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the right conditions, some heat pumps can heat buildings with efficiency levels as high as 300%. However, when outside temperatures fall below freezing, standard heat pumps will work both longer and harder to get their job done. Fortunately, there are many high-performing heat pumps that can provide reliable heating in nearly all climates. These units can continue functioning efficiently even when outside temperatures fall below freezing.
We work hard to help residents of Rochester find the perfect heating and cooling solutions for their homes. We offer heater and air conditioner installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide boilers, heat pump installation, and indoor air quality services. Get in touch with Unitedly Service Group today to find out if a heat pump is the right choice for you.