Since they run so efficiently throughout the year in the mild climate of the Clearwater area, heat pumps are some of the most popular systems we work with on a daily basis. These heating and cooling devices run on the same principles as ordinary air conditioners and refrigerators, making them easy to understand with just a little knowledge of the refrigerant cycle. Knowing how a heat pump works to keep your home cool in the summer will help you choose a great new unit or keep your existing system properly maintained.
The Heat Transfer: Cooling Your Home
Although the HVAC industry has made plenty of advances since Carrier’s invention of modern cooling equipment a century ago, the basic refrigerant cycle hasn’t changed much. During the summer, your heat pump’s evaporator coil collects heat from your home, which causes the refrigerant chemicals inside to become gaseous. The machine then pumps the refrigerant gas to the condenser coil, where it releases heat outside the home and becomes a liquid. Refrigerant keeps cycling through the machine, transferring heat outside, until your home reaches the desired temperature. In this respect, a heat pump is no different from an ordinary split-level air conditioner.
What sets a heat pump apart from other HVAC devices is its dual functionality. On cool days, the same refrigerant cycle runs in reverse, collecting heat from the outdoor air and transferring it into your home. Thus, a good heat pump can adapt to changing temperature conditions throughout the season, heating and cooling as needed to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
A geothermal heat pump uses the same basic cooling cycle, but instead of pumping heat into the outside air, it takes advantage of the stable temperatures found deep underground. Geothermal devices run very efficiently for decades after installation because the underground temperature never changes much, making for easy heating and cooling as needed. Although they can be expensive to install, in some areas these machines can more than make up for the initial cost with reliability and energy savings over time.
Advantages of a Heat Pump
Because they interact directly with the outdoor air, heat pumps are very energy-efficient in areas with fairly mild climates, such as Clearwater. Since they consume nothing but electricity to run, they are very environmentally friendly systems, and their compact construction makes them ideal choices for smaller homes where space may be at a premium. A heat pump also has the inherent advantages of dual functionality: A single installation covers all of your home’s heating and cooling needs, saving you money on setup costs.
Like any other HVAC system, a heat pump needs to be professionally installed and maintained to efficiently keep your home cool all summer long. At Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., we are heat pump service experts offering installation, maintenance and repair services throughout the Clearwater, FL, area. Give us a call today to talk about installation and service options for your home heating and cooling equipment.