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Heat Pumps 101

Published January 27, 2023

If you are looking to install a reliable and low maintenance heating system, consider a heat pump! Given the name, many people assume heat pumps are strictly for heating your home in the winter. However, heat pumps are a flexible home comfort option, because the unit can provide both heating and cooling. In this blog, we will detail everything you need to know about heat pumps and the benefits the unit can provide! Stay in the know with our blog as we provide tips for homeowners and covering topics about HVAC, electricity, and plumbing.

What Is A Heat Pump?

A heat pump can keep your home comfortable year round with its ability to both heat and cool. “Heat” in the name does not refer to generating heat, but rather transferring heat from one location to another. Heat pumps can easily switch from heating to cooling by the reversing valve. Depending on the season, the operational process works in reverse and uses the same components. In heating mode, heat pumps draw heat heat energy from a source and transfer it indoors. In cooling mode, heat pumps collect heat from inside your home and send it outdoors. A heat pump can be very beneficial in climates such as Southside Virginia and surrounding areas, because of the common weather fluctuations.
The main components of a heat pump include an outdoor unit, indoor air handler, refrigerant, compressor, reversing valve, and expansion valve.

Types Of Heat Pumps

Much like other heating options, heat pumps have different sources where the unit generates or draws heat from. There are three types of heat pumps: air source, water source, and ground source. All three types utilize similar components and operational processes.

Air Source Heat Pump: Air source heat pumps draw heat energy from the outside air. (Yes, even in the winter!) Air source is the most common type of heat pump, because of the easy installation process. Air source heat pumps have an indoor unit mounted on a wall inside your home and an outdoor unit nearby.

Water Source Heat Pump: Water source heat pumps draw heat from nearby water, such as a lake or pond. Heat is moved through a water loop, which either rejects or absorbs heat depending on the seasonal setting. Water source heat pumps are typically located in a closet or the ceiling.

Ground Source Heat Pump: Ground source heat pumps draw heat energy from the ground, which can be extremely efficient. Similar to water source, ground source operates through a ground loop and absorbs or rejects thermal energy. Ground source heat pumps are a reliable option in both seasons, because the ground is cooler than the air in the summer and warmer than the air in the winter. Ground source heat pumps are typically buried in the ground near the building.

Benefits Of A Heat Pump

Heat pumps are a dependable heating option and can keep your home comfortable year round. Below are 5 advantages to installing a heat pump in Danville,Virginia and surrounding areas.

  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Two-In-One System
  • Energy Efficient
  • Minimal Maintenance
  • Quiet Operation

Environmentally Friendly

Due to the process of transferring heat rather than generating it, heat pumps are an environmentally friendly heating and cooling option. Other heating units burn fossil fuels to generate heat for your home, whereas heat pumps operate solely on electricity. Burning fossil fuels releases harmful greenhouse gasses into the environment, which affect the environment and contribute to global warming. Installing a heat pump in Danville can help lower your carbon footprint and benefit our community!

Two-In-One System

Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, which cuts down on the need for two separate heating and cooling units. The two-in-one system is convenient for homeowners to operate and provides flexibility for temperature fluctuations in seasons like spring and fall.

Energy Efficient

Heat pump systems use much less energy when compared to other heating systems, because of the operational process. Heat pumps simply move heat from one location to another rather than using energy to generate heat. Heat pumps are most efficient in climates where it rarely drops below freezing, such as a climate similar to South Boston. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pumps use 50% less electricity when compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces.

Minimal Maintenance

Due to heat pumps being one system rather than two separate units, heat pumps can cut down on maintenance. Other heating and cooling units require repairs and maintenance throughout both seasons, while heat pumps can be knocked out at once. Heat pumps use the same components to both heat and cool, which can save on maintenance and repairs calls and costs.

Quiet Operation

Heat pumps, especially ground source, are generally quieter than other heating units. Due to ground source heat pumps being buried underground and other sources being located outside, heat pumps provide home comfort while operating quietly.

If you are thinking of replacing your current heating system or installing a new one in Pittsylvania County, we recommend considering a heat pump. Heat pumps can provide many benefits and use less energy when compared to other heating systems. Give us a call to install a heat pump for your home today!

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