Learning about air-source heat pumps

Before retiring and moving south, I was not familiar with heat pumps.

  • Living in the north, I required an especially powerful heating system and central air conditioning was unnecessary.

My house was equipped with a furnace. When I began looking at houses down south, I noticed that many of the nicer properties featured a heat pump. The real estate agent always mentioned the heat pump as an asset. I did a little research and learned that an air-source heat pump combines heating and cooling capability into a single unit. Rather than burn fossil fuels to generate heat, the system takes advantage of existing heat. It finds ambient heat in the outdoor air, uses a compressor to bring it to a higher temperature and then delivers this heat into the home by way of refrigerant. In the summer, the heat pump reverses the flow of refrigerant and operates very much like a conventional air conditioner. It pulls heat out of the house and transfers it outdoors. The heating and cooling process of an air-source heat pump is especially environmentally friendly and energy efficient. It helps to minimize heating and cooling costs yet provides a very clean, quiet and ideal comfort. The heat pump causes no concerns with insufficient humidity during the winter and helps out with reducing excess humidity in the summer. While a heat pump is rather expensive to purchase and install, the energy savings help to offset the investment. Now that I own a home with a heat pump, I am very happy with it. I have signed up for a maintenance agreement with a local HAC contractor to ensure proper service. I want the heat pump to run reliably for as long as possible.

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