Air Comfort of KY

This is NOT Your Parent’s Heat Pump

Property owners and managers tend to take HVAC equipment for granted in that they expect it to be working – and working well – to either cool or heat an environment when they need it to be working. But part of any good property owner’s home improvement homework should be attempting to better understand how these systems operate and any improvements that can be made to save energy while creating that ideal indoor environment.

That’s why heat pumps have emerged as such a critical alternative to conventional furnaces and air conditioners over the past several decades. In this post, we’ll explain what heat pumps are, how they work, how they’ve evolved over time, and how they can help save your home or business energy. Read on to learn more:

Heat Pumps Explained

So what makes heat pumps different from conventional air conditioners and furnaces when it comes to heating or cooling a property?

Heat pumps run on electricity and work to transfer heat from cooler to warmer spaces. Specifically, they transfer – rather than generate – heat. In other words, during cold weather months, heat pumps work to move heat into the home. During the summer months, they work to move the heat that’s inside the home out of the home.

There are three main types of heat pumps:

  • Air-source: The most common type of heat pump, it works to transfer heat between a property and the outside air and can reduce utility usage by up to 50 percent.
  • Geothermal: These high-efficiency heat pumps transfer heat between a property and either the ground or a local water source. They can reduce energy usage by up to 60 percent.
  • Absorption: These newer types of pumps are becoming more common in residential settings and use either heat or thermal energy as their main energy source.

How Have Heat Pumps Changed Over Time?

The roots of the heat pump date all the way back to 1856 when Peter von Rittinger was experimenting with the latent heat of water vapor relative to salt brine evaporation.

However, the first large-scale heat pump wasn’t created until nearly 100 years later when John Summer built a full-scale water source heat pump in 1945 in Norwich. In 1948, the first heat pump was installed in the United States, and development of these components really began to pick up steam – and advances in efficiency are ongoing to this day. Today’s heat pumps are more than just efficient and effective, but reliable as well.

Some of the ways heat pumps have improved over the years include:

  • Improved efficiency in colder climates. In other words, those who live in northern climates subject to cold winters no longer have to complement heat pumps in the winter with other heating sources.
  • Better motors: Heat pump motors now run at variable speeds, allowing them to work better to improve heating and cooling within the home or business environment.
  • Better SEER ratings: SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” Essentially, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the heating and cooling are. Heat pumps have SEER ratings as high as 24 or more. The minimum standard for air conditioners is a SEER rating of 13. You can see how heat pumps can help property owners save on utility costs.

There are also attractive tax incentives for the purchase of new heat pumps via the Inflation Reduction Act. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

Contact Air Comfort of KY, Inc.

For more information on heat pumps and why they would be a perfect fit in your home or business, contact us today.

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