The three primary components of heat pump operation include the outdoor condenser/compressor, the indoor blower and the thermostat. An air-source heat pump, the most common variety, is an energy-efficient way to cool and heat homes. A well-maintained heat pump can achieve 300 percent efficiency for heating (meaning it will provide three times more heat energy than the electricity it takes to run, while rivaling modern air conditioners in cooling efficiency). Yet, the fact that heat pumps provide both heating and cooling gives them an advantage over furnaces and air conditioners.
Here’s a quick rundown of the three main components of heat pump operation:
The compressor/condenser that sits outside your house releases warm air extracted from your house in the summer, and extracts warm air from the outside air and brings it inside in the summer. To accomplish this, it uses a system of coils – or loops of tubing – to carry heated and cooled refrigerant back and forth between the outdoor and indoor units.
The blower or air handler sits in your home and is critical to heat pump operation. It contains an evaporator coil and a fan that blows the air over this coil, releasing heat or absorbing heat depending on the season. An air filter protects the inside of the blower. Clean filters are essential to the efficient and long-lasting operation of a heat pump.
The thermostat controls the operation of the heat pump, turning it on and off. When using a heat pump in the Kansas City area during the winter, it’s best not to turn it down too much at night because a supplemental heater coil inside the blower will kick on when it’s going to take too long for the heat pump to warm your home, driving up your electric bill. You can also use an intelligent recovery thermostat to avoid this problem because these thermostats override the coil and run more frequently during the night, keeping the home warmer.
If you’d like to learn more about heat pump operation, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided HVAC services in the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).