What’s So Special About Heat Pumps?

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You may have heard about heat pumps as an option for retro-fitting the heating system in your home, or as an option for a new home. If you’ve spent most of your life getting warmth from furnaces or boilers during the winter, you may feel hesitant about making the heat pump a serious option. However, they are growing in popularity in modern homes, so if heater installation is on the horizon for you, you should definitely consider the advantages of installing a heat pump. Air Mechanical Inc. can handle any of your concerns about heat pumps in Andover, MN, and we perform expert installation and maintenance on them as well.

So why do we recommend a heat pump?

The simplest reason is that a heat pump can act as both a heater and an air conditioner, packaged into one system. If you are familiar with the workings of central air conditioning, then you already know a great deal about how a heat pump operates. The unit moves refrigerant through tubes and coils to shift heat from one spot to another. In cooling mode, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor evaporator coil, and releases it from the outdoor condensing coil. In heating mode, the direction of the refrigerant reverses and the two coils exchange jobs. Now the indoor coil is a condenser that releases heat, and the outdoor coil is an evaporator that absorbs heat. To achieve this double function, a heat pump uses a reversing valve and a second compressor. If you already have an air conditioner or a forced air system like a furnace installed in your home, heat pumps can be hooked up to the existing ductwork, which makes installation easier. Heat pump models 15 years ago were not terribly energy efficient, but the new models have improved: they must have a minimum AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of 80% to receive the U.S. government’s Energy Star label—and many rate higher than this. This all sounds fantastic—and it is! But heat pumps won’t work for every home. Their heating power is not as strong as their cooling power, so depending on the conditions in your house, a heat pump may not be ideal for keeping you warm. This is why you should get expert advice before making a choice. Trained HVAC technicians can perform a heat load calculation to determine the specific heating requirements of your house so you will get the best system to keep you cozy through the winter. For heat pumps in Andover, MN, trust on the reliable name of Air Mechanical Inc. Installation, repairs, maintenance—when it comes to heat pumps, we do it all!

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