Did you know that heat pumps can both heat and cool your home? These appliances can serve as an excellent energy-smart alternative to traditional air conditioners and furnaces. Understanding how heat pumps work can help you select the most budget-friendly and energy-conscious methods for your home.
How heat pumps work
Heat pumps work similarly to air conditioners. AC units absorb heat inside a building with refrigerant, and then move it outdoors. However, here’s where heat pumps are different: a heat pump can reverse operation, transferring heat from outside to the inside of the home. This allows it to heat your home during the winter, and then cool it in the summer.
How does this work? Even on the coldest of days here in Albuquerque, the air outside has some radiant heat energy in it. The heat pump is able to pull this energy out and move it, effectively heating your home.
The energy requirements of a heat pump are far less than those of traditional furnaces. That’s because this appliance transfers heat as instead of creating it by burning fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your heat pump may use up to 50 percent less electricity than a furnace to heat your residence.
What kinds of heat pumps exist?
Heat pumps often perform double duty in homes with moderate heating and cooling requirements. Thanks to modern technology, three styles of appliances are typically available on the market: air-to-air, water-source, and geothermal. Each type accomplishes its objectives using slightly different methods:
- Air-to-air pumps transfer heat between your home at the air outdoors.
- Water-source pumps move heat between your home and a nearby water source.
- Geothermal pumps rely on moving heat between your home and the nearby ground.
Most homes rely on standard air-to-air versions while mini-split pumps are ideal solutions for houses without ducts. Mini-split units are comprised of a compressor or condenser, an air-handling unit, and a conduit that links the two.
Absorption heat pumps are a recent innovation, fueled by either natural gas, propane, solar-heated water, or geothermal-heated water. These units depend on an ammonia-water absorption cycle, using ammonia as a refrigerant to either absorb or release heat to cool or heat your home.
Smart heating and cooling solutions from the experts at Wagner
At Wagner, we’re happy to help Albuquerque-area homeowners with vital heat pump information. Count on our professionals to recommend the best energy-smart options to keep your home comfortable. To learn more about heat pump installation, simply contact us online.