How Can Heat Pumps Help You Save Energy?
Heat pumps are proven energy-savers. Typically, a heat pump will transfer up to three units of heat energy for every one unit of electricity consumed. That’s because a heat pump doesn’t generate heat by natural gas combustion or electrical coils. The only energy consumed by a heat pump in either winter or summer is the electricity to run the compressor and blower fan. Since single heat pump system performs both heating and cooling functions, a separate A/C and furnace aren’t required.
Here’s how heat pumps operate year-round:
During summer, a heat pump is basically the same as a standard central air conditioner. The indoor coil extracts heat out of warm household air, compresses the molecules of heat energy, then disperses the heat into the air at the outdoor coil or into the ground through a geothermal heat exchanger. What’s left behind indoors is cool comfort.
In winter, the heat pump reverses. In an air-source system, latent heat energy in cold outdoor air is extracted by the external coil, compressed, then transferred inside to be released by the indoor coil inside the air handler. The blower fan disperses the heat through the ductwork to warm the house. Generally, there’s sufficient latent heat in outdoor air down to freezing temperatures or slightly below to keep the house warm. If outdoor temperatures plummet further, the heat pump automatically activates electric coils or a small backup furnace to provide supplemental heat.
In most locales, underground temperatures remain about 55 degrees year-round. During winter, geothermal heat pumps exploit this free energy source. Tubes buried in a horizontal or vertical configuration circulate heat exchange fluid that absorbs latent heat from the earth and transfers it to an indoor heat pump. After it’s concentrated by a compressor, heat is released by an indoor coil and dispersed through the household ductwork by a blower fan.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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