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Heat pumps look and operate very much like air conditioners with the notable exception that they provide both heating and cooling. While heat pumps and air conditioners do require the use of some different components, they both operate on the same basic principles. This section will explore five topics to consider when you are looking at heat pumps:
How They Work:
Heat pumps and central air conditioners are "split systems," which means that there is an outdoor unit and an indoor unit.
The job of the heat pump or air conditioner is to transport heat either into or out of your home.
The "vehicle" your system uses to carry the heat is called refrigerant.
For cooling operation, air from your home passes through the indoor coil. Heat is absorbed from the indoor air and the resulting cooler air is ciruclated back into your home through your duct system. Heat from your home exits through the outdoor coil.
While it’s keeping you cool, your air conditioner or heat pump also works as an effective dehumidifier.
The process is similar to what happens when moisture condenses on the outside of a glass of ice water on a hot, humid day.
For heating, a heat pump basically reverses the cooling process to warm your home during cold weather.
Where does a heat pump get the heat to warm your home when it’s cold outside?
Even though 35 F air may feel cold to humans, it actually contains a great deal of heat. A heat pump’s heat exchanger can squeeze heat out of cold air, then transfer that heat into your home with the help of a fan coil or a furnace, which circulates the warm air through your ducts.
Heat pumps are often installed with back-up electric resistance heat or a furnace to handle heating requirements when more heat is needed than the heat pump can efficiently extract from the air.
Carrier also offers a Smart Heat accessory package that provides back-up electrical heat in stages.
This option allows homeowners to enjoy the energy-saving benefits of a heat pump and still maintain comfortable indoor temperatures as outdoor temperatures gradually drop.
Purchasing a brand name that has a reputation for quality and reliability can save you headaches and extra expense down the road.
New Carrier air conditioners and heat pumps, for example, undergo 34 quality tests and checks during production, with more than 20 of these being performed on every unit not just on random samples. Ask us about limited and extended warranties.
Some air conditioners and heat pumps offer additional features that provide greater comfort
(as well as additional energy savings).