Heat pump advantages continue to spawn steady growth in the installation of this energy-efficient heating and cooling technology. In the U.S., heat pumps now account for about 10 percent of the heating/cooling systems in residences. About 1.9 million new units are installed annually. In moderate climates like here in Orlando, where winter temperatures stay above freezing, heat pumps can efficiently extract indoor and outdoor heat to function as both an air conditioner and a heating system. In addition to savings on operating costs, heat pumps have many advantages over a central air conditioner.
Cooling And Heating From One Unit
An air conditioner cools your house by extracting heat energy from indoor air and moving it outdoors. Unlike a conventional A/C, however, a heat pump can move heat in either direction. During summer it absorbs indoor heat and disperses it outdoors just like an air conditioner. In winter, however, the process reverses and latent heat is extracted from outdoor air, concentrated, then dispersed indoors to warm the house. Today’s highly efficient heat pumps can extract sufficient latent heat from outdoor air down to about 25 degrees.
Lower Heating Costs
While the costs of heat pump cooling are equivalent to a standard central air conditioner with an equivalent seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), heat pump heating costs are lower—often delivering savings of up to 30 percent compared to standard heating. Since the heat energy extracted from outdoor air is free, the only heating-related costs are the price of electricity to run the compressor and blower fan.
Because heating and cooling functions are now consolidated into a single unit, a heat pump eliminates the need to maintain a separate gas-fired or electric furnace. Maintenance requirements of a heat pump differs little from central air conditioner maintenance, mainly involving coil cleaning, refrigerant checks and blower fan upkeep.
For reliable facts and figures about heat pump advantages, contact the heating and cooling professionals at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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