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How Heat Pumps Work in both Summer and Winter

As you consider heating and cooling updates for your home, you may wonder about the difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump. Many uncertain homeowners ask, “Do heat pumps cool?” The name of a heat pump can be confusing, especially if you need a new cooling system. However, installing this type of multi-season comfort control solution can provide you with a way to keep your energy costs lower as you moderate indoor temperatures throughout the year.

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is similar in design to an air conditioner. The name implies heating, the primary difference between this type of system and an AC unit. In both a heat pump and an air conditioner, refrigerant is used to promote temperature changes in your home. Refrigerant boils and evaporates at low temperatures when it is pressurized. When pressure is released, the material becomes cooler.

With these principles at work in both systems, indoor cooling occurs when refrigerant absorbs heat from the inside environment. As this heat exchange causes the indoor air to become cold, dehumidification takes place in the air handling unit as well. The refrigerant continues its path through the coils to the condensing unit where heat is released into the outside air. In a heat pump, the process can be reversed so that heat is absorbed from the outside air and released inside your home when the unit operates in heating mode.

Is Heat Pump Efficiency Comparable to that of Air Conditioners?

For household cooling, heat pump performance is much the same as that of air conditioning systems. If you are going to replace an existing AC unit, you will find that both heat pumps and air conditioners on today’s market provide a wide range of efficiency levels. Seasonal energy efficiency ratings, SEER, can range from approximately 15 to 21 in both types of systems. If your current cooling unit is more than 10 years old, your efficiency levels will improve dramatically whether you select a more affordable unit or whether you opt for a high-end system.

Replacing your AC with a heat pump will allow you to benefit from a new heating resource in your home. This can be an excellent way to save money and provide comprehensive comfort to your household, especially if you have an existing furnace that doesn’t require replacement at this time. During the iciest winter days, your furnace is a trusted source of heat, but it may be overpowering during milder conditions. Your new heat pump can provide affordable and comfortable heating on such occasions.

Work with an HVAC Expert

As you compare factors like AC and heat pump efficiency ratings and costs, the experts at J & J Mechanical, Inc., are available to provide the facts that you need to make the right decision about your next cooling system. The customer service representatives at our Greenville, NC, office are available to schedule an estimate when you call.

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