What Is A Heat Pump And How Does It Work

As a certified HVAC company serving homeowners throughout the Greater Toronto Area, we've seen an increase in curiosity from homeowners wanting to enhance their interior comfort levels, all while saving money doing so. If you're in the same boat, you may have come across heat pumps in your search. But what is a heat pump, and how does it work in comparison to traditional heating systems?

These are common questions that we often receive from our customers. Therefore, the team at Mersey Heating and Air Conditioning has put together this post so you can have a better idea about these innovative pieces of equipment. So, if you’re curious about learning more, take a look through the information below!

How do heat pumps work in winter?

Heat pumps use the ambient warmth from the outdoors to provide indoor heating in the winter. The heat pump's outdoor unit includes a refrigerant that retains heat energy from the cold outdoor air. The temperature of this refrigeration fluid rises substantially when compressed. The heated coolant then travels through the coils of the indoor unit, releasing the captured heat.

A fan or blower circulates the warm air produced throughout your home using ducts or a ventilation system, maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. The cooled refrigerant is returned to the outdoor chamber to finish the refrigeration cycle.

Supplemental heating sources may be required in areas of extreme cold, and certain heat pump systems include backup heating components or dual-fuel setups that seamlessly transition to an alternate heating source when necessary. Overall, heat pumps cleverly use available outdoor heat to provide successful winter heating.

What are the benefits of heat pumps?

Heat pumps, like all HVAC units, are a significant financial investment. As such, many homeowners want to know whether or not heat pumps are really worth investing in. Well, there are several benefits that heat pumps can provide homeowners that they may not be aware of. Here is a closer look:

·  Heat pumps are energy-efficient and cost-effective.

·  They are highly versatile in that they can provide both heating and cooling for different climates.

·  Long-term savings compensate for higher upfront costs.

·  Heat pumps emit fewer pollutants and have a lower environmental impact.

·  They provide consistent comfort by maintaining a constant temperature.

·  Heat pumps have a long lifespan when properly maintained.

·  They filter and circulate air, which improves indoor air quality.

Can I leave my heat pump on all day?

If necessary, you can leave your heat pump on all day. Heat pumps are intended to operate for a longer amount of time and to provide constant heating or cooling according to what time of year it is. And although leaving your heat pump on all day can help you keep a comfortable indoor temperature, there are a few things to think about:

1. Energy consumption: Continuously running your heat pump will result in greater use of energy. Even though heat pumps are efficient, extended operation can result in higher energy bills. If you are concerned about your home's overall energy consumption, you may want to think about changing the temperature settings or using programmable thermostats to maximize energy usage.

2. Occupancy and comfort: If there are people in the house who require consistent heating or cooling, leaving the heat pump on all day can be practical. It contributes to the preservation of a pleasant atmosphere free of variations in temperature. If the house is empty for an extended period of time, it may be more energy-effective to adjust the parameters or use a smart thermostat to minimize operation during unoccupied hours.

3. System wear and tear: The ongoing operation of the heat pump may lead to increased part deterioration. While heat pumps are designed for long-term use, as previously stated, regular maintenance is required to keep the system working correctly and to deal with any potential problems as soon as possible.

Do heat pumps require a lot of maintenance?

Like all HVAC units, heat pumps require annual maintenance in order to remain optimal throughout their service life. While the specific maintenance needs vary based on the type, make, and model of the heat pump, here are some frequent heat pump maintenance duties that will be conducted when you book your appointment with a professional HVAC company each year:

·  Filter cleaning/replacement: Air filters in heat pumps must be cleaned or replaced every three months. Filters that are clogged or dirty can restrict airflow while minimizing efficiency.

·  Outdoor unit upkeep: The outdoor component of a heat pump will be kept clear of debris such as dirt, fallen leaves, and other impediments. Again, this ensures that air circulation is not obstructed.

·  Coil cleaning: The heat pump's indoor and outdoor coils should be examined and washed. Dirt and debris may accumulate on the coils over time, reducing heat transfer performance.

·  Lubrication: Some heat pumps require a motor and bearing lubrication to prevent early wear and tear of these components.

·  Examination of electrical parts: It is critical to inspect the heat pump's electrical connections, control systems, and wiring for indications of damage, corrosion, or unsecured connections.

·  Check the refrigerant level: To transfer heat, heat pumps use refrigerant. The refrigerant level must be checked on a frequent basis to ensure it is within the suggested range. Low refrigerant levels could indicate a leak, which should be repaired as soon as possible.

As mentioned, homeowners should aim to have their home’s heat pump professionally serviced at least once a year to ensure optimal performance over their unit’s service life.

Do you want to learn more about how a heat pump can help you enhance your home's overall energy efficiency? If so, book a consultation appointment with the team at Mersey Heating and Air Conditioning! From Toronto, Richmond Hill, and Newmarket to Vaughan and Etobicoke, our certified HVAC team proudly serves communities throughout the GTA! Call us today and receive a free new system purchase quote from one of our home comfort advisors! We look forward to partnering with you on this project!