A Basic Guide to Heat Pump Shopping

In places with mild climates, such as Central Florida, a heat pump may be a cheaper alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. Heat pumps can’t create drastic temperature changes like the usual systems can, but they can produce significant results using far less energy.

What Is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps function under the same principles as refrigerators. They don’t produce heat; they simply move it from one place to another. In a refrigerator, a heat pump moves heat from inside of the refrigerator to the outside, keeping temperatures low internally and high externally. A home heat pump system functions similarly. In winter, a heat pump will move heat from outside your home to inside. During summer, the system will pull heat from your house and dump it outside. Heat pumps can heat and cool homes using less energy than traditional systems because they aren’t creating heat as they run.

Types of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps come in three different forms: air-source, geothermal, and absorption (or gas-fired) heat pumps. The most common heat pump systems are air-source pumps. They transfer heat between air inside your home and air outside. These can reduce energy bills by as much as 50% over traditional electrical heating systems in winter. They also de-humidify air better than air conditioners, resulting in cooler air and less energy use in hotter months.

Geothermal heat pumps can be either ground- or water-sourced. These systems cost more to install than air-source systems but offer higher energy efficiency. They also function more reliably than air-source pumps in areas with extreme temperatures. Absorption or gas-fired heat pumps are relatively new and rarely used.

Features to Look For

When buying a heat pump system, there are a few features you should consider. Two-speed compressors are better than single-speed ones. They save extensive energy as well as system wear by not working harder than necessary.

Heat pump fans equipped with variable or dual speed motors are more energy efficient and minimize drafts. They also tend to be quieter than single speed fans.

Some high-efficiency heat pumps contain devices called “desuperheaters.” These devices transfer heat that the pump’s cooling mode would waste to heat water instead. These devices can be up to three times more efficient at heating water than electric water heaters.

Deciding on a Heat Pump

If you live in a mild region or are willing to pay a little more to install a geothermal system, a heat pump may drastically reduce your energy bill. When buying a heat pump, look for ones with two-speed compressors and variable speed fans to reduce energy consumption.

Central Florida has a mild climate—perfect for using heat pumps. If you’re considering installing a heat pump system here, contact Payne Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. We can talk about getting you set up with the most efficient system.