Heat pumps are designed to both heat and cool your home. They essentially pull the heat from the air and transfer it to another location, moving heat out of your home when you need it to be cool, and absorbing it from the outside when you need it to be warm. That makes it a good fit in cities like Pittsburgh, which have warm, humid summers and cold winters. Will a heat pump work year ‘round in a city like that? Generally speaking, heat pumps work best in milder climates, when the temperatures rarely drop below 40 degrees. A geothermal heat pump, hybrid system or a cold-weather system could be more beneficial than a typical air source heat pump.
Most heat pumps have two different sections, an outdoor section and an indoor section. The first one contains a compressor that places pressure on refrigerant gas, and a coil that cools the pressurized gas into a liquid state, releasing heat into the outside air. The liquid refrigerant then moves into the indoor unit, which contains a coil of its own. The liquid expands in that coil, which pulls heat from the nearby air. A fan then blows the cool air into your home.
That process takes place in the summer, and isn’t dissimilar to the process used by a tradition air conditioning system. In the winter, however, the process is reversed. The indoor coil condenses the gas into a liquid, releasing heat into your home. The liquid is then sent to the outdoor unit, where it evaporates and absorbs heat from the outside air. That allows the heat pump to act as both a heater and an air conditioner in one single unit. However, it only works efficiently if the outside temperature is over 40 degrees. When it gets colder, you’ll need a supplementary heating system in place. Geothermal heat pumps, however, use the temperature of the earth which stays constant all year round, so they are able to heat your home throughout the winter.
If you want to install a heat pump in your home, or you already own one and need a maintenance or repair call, then contact Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We’ll discuss your options with you and then work hard to implement the correct solution.