A Brief Guide to Heat Pumps

Frequently Asked Questions About Heat Pumps

When installing a new HVAC system, homeowners have several different options to choose from. The choice can be challenging with the variety of air conditioning and heating systems on the market. But one type of system is becoming increasingly popular for its energy efficiency and other appealing advantages over other systems – the heat pump.

However, many homeowners are unsure what heat pumps are and what makes them different from other heating and cooling systems. This article will lay out everything homeowners need to know about heat pumps, from how they work and the benefits they provide to how homeowners can tell when their heat pump is malfunctioning.

What Is a Heat Pump – And How Does It Work?

heat pump system A heat pump is a type of heating and cooling system that extracts heat energy from the surrounding environment and amplifies it to heat a home rather than producing heat outright from fuel or electricity. A heat pump can also use this process in reverse to extract heat from the indoor air, cooling the home. For this reason, a heat pump can serve as both a heater and an air conditioner.

There are three main types of heat pumps, which collect heat from different sources outdoors. An air-source heat pump transfers heat between the inside of a home and the outside air and is the most common type of heat pump. A water source heat pump uses water instead, and a geothermal heat pump uses the ground outside to collect heat. 

What Are the Advantages of a Heat Pump System?

One of the biggest benefits of installing a heat pump system is its energy efficiency. Traditional heaters and furnaces use gas, oil, or electrical resistance to generate heat, which can consume a lot of energy. Since heat pumps pull existing heat energy from the air or other sources and use less electricity, they can save homeowners money on utility bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pumps can reduce electricity use for heating by around 50% compared to electric resistance heating systems like furnaces or baseboard heaters.

But the heat pump benefits don’t stop there. Since a heat pump system can handle the home’s heating and cooling needs, homeowners won’t need to install a separate heater and air conditioner. The U.S. government even offers tax incentives and rebates for qualified homeowners who get heat pump installation due to their energy efficiency!

What Are the Signs a Heat Pump Needs Repairs?

energy billOnce homeowners have upgraded to a heat pump, the next step (aside from enjoying the comfort and lower energy bills it provides) is to take good care of the system. That means keeping up with regular maintenance and knowing how to spot signs of trouble when they arise. Here are a few indicators that heat pump repair may be needed:

  • Little to no air coming out of the vents
  • The home isn’t getting warm enough (in the winter) or cold enough (in the summer)
  • The system is short-cycling (running for a short time and then switching off)
  • The system runs constantly or switches off only for brief periods
  • Strange sounds coming from the unit, such as rattling, banging, grinding, scraping, screeching, or rumbling
  • Strange smells coming from the air vents (musty smells, burning smells, etc.)
  • Spike in energy bills without explanation

Any of these issues can indicate a variety of problems with the system. In some cases, it may just need a tune-up, but heat pump repair may be necessary for others. Regardless, catching issues as early as possible will help prevent them from spiraling into larger problems that require more costly repairs. So, if homeowners notice any of these signs, they should call their local HVAC company immediately.

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical is a locally owned and operated plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company serving Taunton and the surrounding areas. They offer flat-rate prices, financing, and prompt arrivals. Call them today for heat pump services in Taunton, MA.  

Distribution Links +