What Is A Heat Pump And How Does It Work
From furnaces to boilers and heat pumps, home heating systems come in an array of shapes and sizes, offering homeowners the chance to truly customize their home interior. While furnaces and boilers are recognized as reliable options for those looking for a conventional installation, heat pumps triumph in their energy efficiency due to their unique design and features.
If you’re considering a new heating system for your home, whether in Embrun, Arnprior, Cumberland, Orleans, or the surrounding areas that Anchor Home Comfort proudly serves, you may have heard about heat pumps previously. But what exactly is a heat pump? And how does it work? You’ve come to the right place because we’re going to be giving you the inside scoop on these HVAC systems below. So, if you want to learn more about heat pumps, read ahead!
What is the primary drawback of heat pumps?
Heat pumps are widely regarded as an excellent choice for heating and cooling homes. However, there are a few things to consider before installing one in your home. Here's a closer look at what you should be keeping in mind:
Firstly, they can be substantially more costly upfront than traditional heating and cooling systems due to their unique characteristics and the fact that there are two separate units that make up the entire system. Another thing to think about is that heat pumps can be noisy, mainly if the unit on the outside is operating. This could be an issue if the unit is near your bedroom or other quiet areas. It's also worth noting that heat pumps may not be suitable for all homes, especially those that are older with inadequate insulation or ductwork. Furthermore, if you live in a condo complex or a neighbourhood with strict noise regulations, you may be restricted in where you can install the unit outdoors.
With all that being said, the primary drawback of heat pumps is that they are not suitable for homes in regions that experience extreme climate conditions throughout the year. This means that if you reside somewhere like Alberta, where winter temperatures drop well below -15 degrees, the heat pump is not going to be able to work efficiently as the available heat energy in the air is minimal. Because of this, it will need to work harder than it should to extract and transport heat which uses more electricity and will evidently increase your monthly utility costs.
However, in areas such as Ottawa, Casselman, Gloucester, Clarence, and others in that region of Ontario, this shouldn’t be a problem as the entire province tends to experience mild weather throughout the year, minus the odd heat wave or snowstorm. Therefore, you will not need to worry about excessive wear and tear or increased costs if you maintain your unit correctly throughout its lifespan.
How do heat pumps operate throughout the winter?
Heat pumps work in the winter by soaking up heat from the environment's air and transmitting it into your home. Even when the weather is cold, there is still heat in the air that the heat pump can capture and use to warm your home. However, if the temperature falls below a certain threshold, the heat pump might have trouble keeping up and might have to depend on a backup heating source, such as a boiler or furnace, to pick up the slack.
Heat pumps essentially use refrigerant to absorb the heat before it's then pushed into your home using a vent or your home's existing ductwork. And of course, because heat pumps can offer BOTH heating and cooling to a home, in the summertime, it will work in reverse and remove heat from your home before sending it outdoors! How cool!
Do I require a furnace and heat pump together?
In most cases, a furnace and a heat pump aren't needed together. Heat pumps are capable of offering heating as well as cooling for your residence, thus eliminating the need for a separate furnace. However, as we mentioned, in some areas with freezing temperatures, a furnace may be required to provide additional heating capacity. Luckily, homeowners in the GTA don’t need to worry about this because temperatures haven’t dropped to frigid temperatures since the early 1900s!
It's important to note that if you currently have a furnace installed in your home, incorporating a heat pump can be an excellent way to enhance the energy efficiency of your house and lower the price of heating. But in the end, the decision to use a furnace and heat pump together in your home will be determined by your specific heating requirements and the climate in your area. So, we recommend always reaching out to a professional HVAC technician to consult with them on what options are available to you.
What steps are involved in installing a heat pump?
There are several steps involved in installing a heat pump (so remember to leave it up to the professionals at Anchor Home Comfort!).
1. Site Evaluation: A professional HVAC technician will come to your home to assess your needs and choose the best spot for the external component.
2. System Selection: Based on the evaluation, the technician will suggest the best type, size, and efficiency rating of the heat pump system for your home.
3. Installation: The installation entails placing the outdoor compressor, running the cooling fluid lines and electrical cables, and connecting the indoor unit to the heat pump system.
4. Electrical Work: To power the heat pump, an authorized electrician will install an exclusive circuit and wiring for the appliance.
5. Ductwork Modifications: If necessary, the technician will make ductwork alterations to ensure the correct circulation and distribution of cool or warm air to each area of your home.
6. System Testing: The technician will conduct tests on the system in order to ensure that it is operationally sound and will make any changes that are needed. You can then enjoy your new heat pump!