Your New Air-Source Heat Pump: The 3 Cycles

 Your New Air-Source Heat Pump: The 3 CyclesAir source heat pumps are environmentally friendly systems that can efficiently heat and cool your Kansas City area home. A well-maintained air-source heat pump uses approximately a third of the electrical energy that a regular electric resistance heater does, and when in cooling mode rivals the performance of high-efficiency air conditioners. This translates to lower electricity bills for the homeowners who have installed these systems in their homes.There are three air-source heat pump cycles. They are:

Heating Cycle: During the winter, heat is extracted from the air outside and transferred inside, using refrigerant as the medium of heat exchange. The heat pump can do this quite efficiently up until it its balance point is reached. Simply explained, this is the point at which the outside cold temperatures prevail over the heat pump’s capacity to heat the inside of the home. After this threshold is reached, an emergency backup heating source – usually an electric resistance heater – kicks in.

Cooling Cycle: In the summer, the process is reversed. The air-source heat pump extracts heat from the interior of the home and pushing it outside, which creates cool air inside. Air-source heat pumps can also act as a dehumidifier during this time because they have the ability to extract moisture from the air.

Defrost Cycle: During the winter, problems may arise with frost buildup. At this time, the air-source heat pump will switch to defrost mode. Frost buildup lowers the efficiency of the coils and impairs their ability to transfer heat to the inside of the house.The defrost cycle is an automatic process triggered and stopped by a timer or temperature sensor on the outside coil. Although helpful, running the defrost cycle when it’s not needed ultimately lowers the performance of the heat pump. A professional may change the settings to demand-frost mode so the defrost cycle starts only when required.

If you’re in the Kansas City area and want more information about air-source heat pump cycles, or any other issue involving heating and cooling systems, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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