A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and cooling system. Heat pumps work similarly to air conditioners in the summer to cool your home. In the winter, the heat pump will take warm air from outside and move it inside to heat your home. Since Texans don’t have to worry about extreme winter temperatures, a heat pump might be a good option if you want to make a change.
If you’re interested in installing a heat pump system in your home, contact the Rockwall heat pump experts at Lyons Air & Heat today! Call us at (214) 432-2859 to schedule your heat pump appointment today.
What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a heating and cooling system that not only cools your home but can also provide heat in the winter months. An added benefit of a heat pump is that they also dehumidify and purify the air.
The name “heat pump” can be misleading. It doesn’t pump heat; it redistributes heat already in the air. During the cooler months, the heat pump will take heat from either the air or ground, depending on the type of heat pump you have, and move that heat throughout your home. In the summer, the heat pump will pull the heat from the inside and move it outside using a refrigerant to cool the air. Heat pumps function similarly to air conditioners when they’re in cooling mode.
Types of Heat Pumps
The different types of heat pumps all work the same way by transferring heat from outside and moving it inside; it’s just where they pull that heat from that makes them different. Listed below are the two most common types of heat pumps:
- Air source heat pumps: Also known as an air-to-air heat pump, this system is the most common type. The air source heat pump takes the heat from the outside air and transfers it inside to heat your home. It pumps the air inside through refrigerant coils, much like your refrigerator’s functions. An air source heat pump consists of refrigerator coils, two fans, a compressor, and a reversing valve. The heat pump reversing valve allows the system to provide your home with cool air in the warmer months. Instead of moving warm air through your home, it releases it like an air conditioner. These air-source heat pumps are the most popular type because they can be installed to work with a ducted or ductless system. They are also less invasive to install in comparison to geothermal heat pumps.
- Geothermal heat pumps: These types of heat pumps can either be ground-source heat pumps or water-source heat pumps. They differ from air-source heat pumps in that instead of taking warm air from the air; they use the ground or water to carry and transfer heat through buried pipes filled with refrigerant or water. The pipe system used in geothermal heat pumps can either be open-looped or closed-looped. In a closed-loop system, the same water or refrigerant repeatedly circulates through the pipes. In an open-loop system, water is pumped from the underground water source. Geothermal heat pump systems are more expensive to install and maintain since you have to excavate the area. They are more commonly used with larger industrial buildings instead of private homes.
Another type of heat pump is the absorption heat pump. This type of heat pump is an air-source heat pump that is not powered by electricity but is powered instead by natural gas, propane, or solar power. Absorption heat pumps were once only used at bigger industrial sites but are now available for private homes. The most significant difference between an air source heat pump and an absorption heat pump is that instead of a refrigerant, the absorption heat pump absorbs ammonia into the water, and then a pump pressurizes it. The heat source boils the water to remove the ammonia and starts the process over again.
If you live in an area that experiences harsher winters, you might want to consider cold-climate heat pumps. These heat pump systems have special features that allow them to operate below -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Since heat pumps pull heat from outside, they have to work harder when the outside air reaches below a specific temperature. Another option, if you want to install a heat pump but live in a colder climate, is to install an electric heat strip to increase the heating capability. Some homes in much colder areas may also install a gas furnace in addition to their heat pump for an added heating system. This is known as a dual-heating system.
How Does a Heat Pump Work?
Heat pumps pump liquid refrigerant to cool your home through an expansion device located at the indoor coil that functions as the evaporator. Air from the inside is blown across the evaporator coils. There, the wheat energy is absorbed by the refrigerant. The cool air is then blown through the air ducts. The gaseous refrigerant moves through the compressor, which pressurizes the gas. This hot refrigerant then travels through the system to the outdoor unit. Since the outside air is cooler than the compressed gas refrigerant, heat is moved from the refrigerant to the air outside. Once cooled, the refrigerant condenses back into a liquid state. The liquid refrigerant is pushed through the system towards the expansion valve at the indoor unit. Then the expansion valve reduces the liquid refrigerant pressure and cools it. Now the refrigerant is ready to be pumped back through the system to start the cycle over.
Like the cooling mode, the heating mode reverses that function to provide heat. The reversal takes the outside air, even when it’s cold, and releases the heat energy throughout the home. The indoor coil now functions as the condenser, and the outdoor coil is the evaporator. The cold liquid refrigerant absorbs the heat in the outside unit and turns it into cold gas. When pressure is applied to that cold gas, it becomes hot gas. That hot gas is then cooled in the indoor unit by condensing it into a warm liquid. When the pressure is removed from the warm liquid, it moves to the outside unit and turns it into a cold liquid.
Benefits of Using a Heat Pump System
One of the most important benefits of a heat pump system is that it functions as both an air conditioner and a heater. Instead of having an air conditioner to cool your home and a furnace system to heat your home, all you need is one heat pump unit. There are many other benefits to using a heat pump system in your home.
- Comfort: Heat pumps provide a more even level of heating and cooling throughout your home. The continuous airflow means that every room in your home is comfortable.
- Air quality: Heat pumps also work as an air purification system. They have a built-in filtration system that removes particles and other contaminants from the air. Since heat pumps run on electricity, they don’t burn fossil fuels, which means you don’t have to worry about breathing in harmful fumes.
- All-in-one: Since heat pumps work to both heat and cool your home, there’s no need for multiple systems. Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance on an air conditioner or heater.
- Low maintenance: Heat pumps don’t require much maintenance once installed. Plus, a heat pump doesn’t make much noise or produce strange smells.
- Options: The only thing that heat pumps need is electricity. As long as you have electricity, you can choose from the different types of heat pumps. You can select a ducted heat pump system if your home already has an air duct system. If you don’t have ductwork, you can go with a ductless mini-split heat pump. A ductless system is also great if you have an area that needs additional heating and cooling, like a basement or enclosed garage.
- Cleaner energy: A heat pump is the cleanest heating and cooling system available. Since they run on electricity, no fossil fuels are required. Since heat pumps are energy efficient, you can expect to lower energy bills.
For Heat Pump Service in Rockwall and the Surrounding Areas, Call Lyons Air & Heat Today
As you can see, there are many benefits to installing a heat pump in your home. A heat pump works to both heat and cool off your home which means you only need one unit, instead of two separate units. If you’re interested in a heat pump system, call the Lyons Air & Heat experts. Our Addison HVAC technicians will work with you to decide on the best heat pump system for your home. At Lyons Air & Heat, we provide financing options so a heat pump installation doesn’t have to break the bank. We also offer military discounts, senior citizen discounts, and more. Contact Lyons Air & Heat today to discuss your heat pump installation options by calling (214) 432-2859.