Heat Pump diagram

Why Heat Pumps Are So Energy Efficient

February 8, 2020

About half of all the energy consumed by the average home goes toward heating and cooling. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Norfolk, VA homeowners are always searching for better, more efficient ways to stay comfortable. If you’d like to save energy and reduce your environmental impact, few options are more promising than heat pumps.

The Science of Heat Transfer

To understand what makes heat pump systems so efficient, we first need to explore heat transfer. This is the principle by which air conditioners cool your home. In an air conditioner, liquid refrigerant rapidly evaporates and cools as it passes through the evaporator coil. When air passes over the coil, the refrigerant cools it by absorbing some of its heat energy. This process is then reversed once the refrigerant is pumped to an outdoor condenser coil. As a result, heat energy is removed from your home and transferred to the outdoor environment.

How Heat Pumps Maximize Efficiency

Like air conditioners, heat pumps use this high-efficiency heat transfer process to cool your home during the warmer months. However, heat pumps are also equipped with a reversing valve. When engaged, this valve reverses the entire heat transfer process. Heat energy is absorbed from outdoors, concentrated and transferred into your living space. By relying on latent heat energy instead of energy-intensive combustion or resistance heating, a heat pump can achieve remarkable efficiency. In fact, some systems can achieve an effective efficiency of 300% or more.

The Fine Print

If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably noticed a potential flaw in this type of system. A heat pump can only warm your home effectively if the outdoor air contains enough ambient heat energy. This can become a problem when temperatures drop too low. Fortunately, this is rarely an issue in the Virginia Beach area. Additionally, technological advances have significantly improved heat pump performance in cooler weather. When needed, heat pumps can also be paired with supplemental heating sources to provide better cold-weather performance and peace of mind.

When it comes to clean and affordable comfort, it’s hard to beat heat pumps. To start enjoying energy-efficient comfort today, explore Absolute Comfort Heating & Cooling, Inc.’s quality heating and AC equipment or give us a call.

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