How Does a Heat Pump Work?
Although you may have had a heat pump in your home for years—maybe even throughout your whole life—you might still wonder how it works. Thankfully, the experts at Arctic Air Conditioning are here to explain just how a heat pump works and offer the best maintenance tips for keeping your heat pump in great shape for years to come.
How Heat Pumps Work
Though your initial assumption may be that a heat pump generates heat, it actually doesn’t. Rather, it simply moves heat around to the locations where it’s needed. Instead of using a lot of energy to create heat by themselves, heat pumps use electricity to pull heat from natural sources (such as the air or the ground), which saves a significant amount of energy. The fact that heat pumps do not need to burn fuel also makes them much more energy efficient than a gas-burning furnace.
Heat pumps not only have the ability to heat a home, but they can also be used for cooling. In the winter, heat pumps pull warm air from the outside and move it inside. In the summer, they pull warm air from the inside and move it outside. This allows you to use one heat pump instead of needing two separate systems for the purposes of heating and cooling your home. However, using a heat pump as a replacement for a standard HVAC system is typically recommended for households in more moderate climates.
Proper Heat Pump Operation
Operating your heat pump correctly is extremely important for preventing potential issues and saving money on energy costs over time. If setting back your thermostat causes your heat pump’s backup heating to come on, you may be wasting money and resources. Unless the system in your home uses a high-efficiency fan motor, continuous fan usage can negatively affect the performance of your heat pump. Installing a programmable thermostat or simply using the automatic fan setting can significantly reduce energy use. Enabling your heat pump to be as efficient as possible can reduce energy consumption anywhere between 10% to 25%.
Heat Pump Maintenance Tips
The key to helping your heat pump last as long as possible is to properly maintain it throughout the year. Regularly taking advantage of these maintenance tips will help keep it running smoothly:
- Clean and/or change filters as needed, typically once a month
- Remove debris from fans to prevent airflow reduction
- Wipe down coils when they are dirty
- Trim branches and vegetation around the outdoor unit
- Dust supply and return registers
In addition to the steps that you can take on your own, you should also have a licensed HVAC technician complete a comprehensive tune-up twice a year—once before summer and once before winter. These inspections will help identify any problems that need to be addressed and prevent major concerns in the future. Your technician can also help you go over your options if it turns out you need to replace your heat pump system.
Heat Pump Maintenance & Installation Services in Central NJ
Whether you need a heat pump inspection, tune-up, or installation, Arctic Air Conditioning is happy to meet all of your HVAC needs with exceptional service at a price you can afford. We offer our comprehensive services throughout Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Ocean, and Somerset Counties in New Jersey.