Most Efficient Ways to Use a Heat Pump
In the world of HVAC, a lot of effort has been put into figuring out whether or not people should use a heat pump unit in their homes. Since we are talking about human homes, we will be talking about an air-cooled heat pump. The air cooling unit in most homes runs a split system, and you don't have to worry about drilling holes in the ground or using boilers and radiators in such a small unit.
Benefits of a Heat Pump
You may have heard that a heat pump is supposed to use 1/3 less electricity than conventional resistance heaters in a home. But what makes using a heat pump beneficial? Is there a preferred geographical area where it is better to use a heat pump? When making a decision, a person should take into account as many variables as possible.
How a Heat Pump Works
A heat pump is a different type of typical air conditioning system. If you understand the principle of heat transfer to make an air conditioner work, then you have a basic understanding of how a heat pump works. An air conditioning unit removes heat from the air in the home using a cooler that is powered by a condenser unit outside the home. The coolant gets heated up as it passes through the evaporator coil in the house ... the coolant is already evaporating because it draws more heat into it, hence the name Evaporator coil.
From there, the coolant is drawn through a copper line to the condensing unit outside the home. Then the condenser draws heat from the coolant and releases it into the air. So, in summer you feel warm air from the outdoor unit. From there, the coolant is compressed, cooled, and then pushed through the evaporator coil again. This process causes cold air to flow out of the home's holes, and hot air to flow out of the home.
Now, what if we were to reverse the cycle we just described? What if we caused a unit to blow cold air outside and hot air inside? The answer is simple. We'll have a heat pump. This is actually what a heat pump does - it draws in heat from the open air and releases it indoors. This allows a heat pump to operate by not using more electricity than your air conditioner uses during the summer, while the typical heat resistance costs much more because it uses a toaster-like stove to heat the air in the home. The heating element draws much more current than the unit operating in the heat pump mode.
The problem is that the outside temperature can get so low that the unit cannot extract heat from the air effectively. That is why the normal daily heat pump with a variety of gardens has faulty mechanisms. For example, defrosting mechanisms are in place to prevent the coolant from getting too cold and taking over the compressor, causing major damage costing hundreds of dollars to repair. There is also a heat resistant backup heat coil that turns on when the external sensor determines that the outside temperature is so low that the coolant can effectively draw any heat from the air.
However, anyone in the Norman, OK area should think about the climate in the area before deciding to use a heat pump. Another thing to think about is that summer and winter are not the only seasons of the year. There is a cold hug in early fall and late spring. Although one may not use the heat pump for much of the winter, they can use it quite a bit in the fall and spring. These must be determined before installing any of these units in cold winter climates.