Spring is the season when homeowners get rid of their old air conditioners and install a new one. It makes sense to do so now, especially if your old system is at the end of its run. Better to install a new one now and enjoy the benefits of improved efficiency and performance all summer, than risk running the old inefficient one and possible having to deal with a catastrophic breakdown in the middle of one of our patented Texas heat waves.
If you’re looking at new air conditioners this spring, you may want to consider the benefits of a heat pump, which operates according to the same principles as air conditioning, but can also be used as a heating system in the fall and winter. How does it work and what makes it worthy of consideration? We’ve outlined a brief description below.
Like an Air Conditioner, but with a Twist
Air conditioning systems rely on refrigerant to do their job, circulating in an endless loop that allows it to cool the air in the system. Heat pumps utilize the same method to cool the air, but with a unique spin on the notion. In a standard air conditioner begins by shifting the refrigerant from gaseous to liquid form and placing it under a high level of pressure. The process releases heat into the air, which is usually vented outside of your home via the outdoor portion of the air conditioner.
The liquid refrigerant then enters the evaporator coils in a specific amount, where is shifts back to gaseous form. The process lowers the temperature in the surrounding air, which can then be blown into your home with a fan. The gaseous refrigerant then returns to the beginning of the loop to start the process all over again.
Heat pumps use the same process in the summer. However, in the winter, the process can be reversed: cooling the air outside your home and releasing heat inside your home. That allows the system to serve as a heater and an air conditioner in one single package.
What are the Advantages?
Heat pumps make effective air conditioners, and can provide you with reliable cooling power in the summer. The big benefit comes in the fall and winter however. Because it relies on refrigerant to provide heat — which is theoretically infinitely renewable, though leaks do occur — it costs much less than traditional furnaces that consume gas or electricity to run. This can pay huge dividends during the cooler months, allowing you to comfortably warm your home at a small percentage of the same operating costs.
Some heat pumps have trouble during particular cold days, but our environment is temperate enough to render such concerns moot most of the time. Hybrid units are also available, marrying the heat pump to a smaller traditional furnace that nonetheless still provides you with noticeable savings over a heating system running alone.
If a heat pump sounds like a good fit for your Fredericksburg, TX home call D’Spain Sales & Service, Inc. today!