In the mild weather of the Southwest Florida region, a heat pump can be an inexpensive way to heat your home in the winter. In most cases, they can also cool your home in the summer.
How Does a Heat Pump Cool?
Both air conditioners and heat pumps work on the same principle. They use a special phase-changing refrigerant to absorb heat from the air through a set of coils, and then they release it through another set of coils located elsewhere. An air conditioning system removes heat from your home and brings it outside, cooling the interior during the summer.
During the winter, heat pumps absorb heat from the outdoor air and release it inside. Unlike air conditioning, however, most heat pumps can also reverse the flow of coolant through a special valve. This allows them to function like an air conditioning unit during the summer, using the indoor coils to absorb heat from your home, after which it’s released outside through the outdoor portion of the system.
Can Heat Pumps Cool Efficiently?
Heat pumps can be just as efficient for cooling during the summer as air conditioners are. A model rated for 16 SEER will perform just as well as an air conditioner rated for 16 SEER. In mild climates where heat pumps are more efficient for heating during the winter, one system can be used for both heating and cooling, reducing your overall system costs. Air conditioners, in comparison, must rely on a separate system — such as a gas furnace — for heating in the winter.
Do Heat Pumps Require Special Maintenance?
The maintenance requirements for heat pumps are similar to those of air conditioners. Once or twice a year, the coils should be cleaned thoroughly, the refrigerant levels should be checked, the blower fan other moving parts should be lubricated and adjusted, and the electrical system should be inspected. Also, air filters should be checked monthly and changed at least every three months.
For more information about the cooling abilities of a heat pump, talk to our team at Conditioned Air, serving the Southwest Florida region.