Posted on: 12 May 2015Share
An air conditioner is just one way to cool a home. If you use just a plain air conditioner, then you have to use a separate furnace to heat your home. On the other hand, if you decide to use a heat pump in your home, you can both heat and cool your home with one system. You could say that a heat pump is like a beefed up version of an air conditioner. By using a heat pump in your home, you can set yourself up to save money on your HVAC costs in terms of operation and installation costs.
Heat Extraction: The Common Link between an AC Unit and a Heat Pump
When a liquid evaporates, the phase change from a liquid to a gas allows the gas to absorb heat from the surroundings. An air conditioner has a self-contained coolant and two sets of coils. As the coils move through the evaporator, hot air from your home moves over the coils and makes the liquid evaporate, which in turn allows the coolant to extract heat from your surroundings. The super-heated vapor than moves to the condenser coils, where relatively cool outside air moves over the coils and allows the gas to condense back to a liquid. A heat pump allows you to reverse this process so that you can extract heat from the outside air, which can then be used to heat your home.
Benefits of Using a Heat Pump
One of the biggest benefits of using a heat pump in your home is that you don't have to pay for two separate pieces of equipment. A new furnace can cost up to $14,000 dollars, and a new AC unit can cost between $3,000 and $5,000. A new heat pump will only cost around $7,000. Thus, you can save on installation costs by going with one piece of equipment. A second benefit is that an air-source heat pump can achieve efficiency levels of up to 250%, which means you can heat your home more efficiently than you could with a traditional furnace, which will allow you to save money on heating costs.
Most people who live in a hot climate think installing an air conditioner is the only piece of HVAC equipment they will need. However, there are times when a little extra heat during the winter, even in the southern, milder parts of the country, can be a good thing. Using a heat pump is a smart, cost-saving move for a homeowner in a mild climate. (For more information on air conditioning, you can contact Quality HomEnergy)