November 17, 2016

There is a lot of interest in heat pumps these days. At MacFarlane Energy, we install many of these innovative appliances. We also field a lot of questions about them from homeowners wondering if a heat pump makes sense for them.
 
Here is a quick primer on heat pumps. 
 
Is a heat pump right for me?
Many homeowners find heat pumps helpful for heating certain spaces, such as rooms that are not heated sufficiently by the central heating system. A heat pump also can cool the house in the warmer months.
 
How does a heat pump work?
Heat pumps move warm air from one place to another, rather than generating it, which make them more efficient than regular heating systems. When it’s cold out, the heat pump extracts heat from outside and moves it inside. When it’s warm out, it reverses directions and works more like an air conditioner, removing heat from the home.
 
How does it extract heat from cold outdoor air?
The refrigerant inside the system is constantly changing temperature. In heating mode, the liquid is at its coldest when it begins circulating in the outdoor unit. In fact, it is considerably colder than the outside air, so it is actually warmed in the outdoor unit. The system then concentrates that temperature gain and deposits it into the indoor air as heat. As it dumps that heat indoors, the refrigerant gets cold again before it recirculates into the outdoor unit. This process is continuous.
 
Does it work in the dead of winter?
A heat pump is most efficient in moderately cold weather, but it can be effective all winter long. Many homeowners install a heat pump to supplement the work of their heating or cooling system, to enjoy more efficient comfort in the fall or late spring. But we also offer systems, like the Mitsubishi H2i® that can deliver heat effectively in temperatures as cold as    
-13°F.
 
Heat pumps are excellent solutions for many homes, and the MassSave program offers rebates on some systems. To learn more, please contact us today.