Heat pump system basics
A heat pump is a device that transfers thermal energy from one location to another. Heat can be transferred from the air inside your home to the air outdoors, and vice versa, or the earth or a water source can be used as a source of heat or heat sink, which is a location where the excess heat is deposited. A heat pump that transfers heat between air sources is referred to as an air source heat pump, while one that transfers heat between air and the ground or water is called a geothermal or ground source heat pump.
The components of a heat pump system differ slightly based on the type of system. An air source heat pump system is made up of an outdoor heat pump and an inside air handler, which are connected by refrigerant lines. A geothermal heat pump system also has a ground loop (also called an earth loop) component; fluid-filled piping is buried underground in a horizontal or vertical configuration, or directed to a water source, where heat is pulled from or deposited into.
How heat pumps keep you warm (and cool)
No matter the season, a heat pump transfers heat from where it is to where you want it to be. In the winter, you want heat inside your home; the heat pump system pulls warmth from the earth or the air outdoors and moves it inside – believe it or not, below ground temperatures always stay around 55 degrees, and in areas with milder winters, enough heat does exist in the air outside to provide sufficient heating! In the summer, the heat pump pulls excess heat from inside the home and sends it outside or into the earth.
Advantages of heat pumps
Heat pumps are highly energy efficient. First, they transfer heat instead of creating it, so they do not burn fossil fuel to heat your home like many furnaces and boilers. The heat comes from a natural and essentially free source! These systems run on electricity, so you will have some expense, but heat pumps transfer approximately 4 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity consumed, so their electric energy consumption is quite low compared to the heating and cooling provided.
For friendly and professional advice on the sales, service and maintenance of HVAC equipment; contact Parkers Heating and Cooling today or call us at (615) 355-9137.