How Does a Heat Pump Work?

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Your heat pump will do more than warm your Washington home in winter. It also will keep you cool in the summer. 

A heat pump will shrink your carbon footprint, help you save money, and maintain your comfort even when the outdoor temperature soars beyond two digits or dips below freezing.

If you are on the fence about buying a heat pump because you’ve heard it will deliver a lukewarm performance in freezing weather or work well only in mild climates, let our pros at Resicon LLC ease your mind.

We work with many kinds of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, including heat pumps. We have installed heat pumps in homes throughout the Tacoma area and can attest to their year-round reliability and efficiency.

Taking Heat From the Air

An electric heat pump transfers heat from one location to another. It is more efficient than a fuel-burning furnace that loses some energy during combustion. 

Heat pumps can extract heat from indoor air and send it outdoors, leaving your home cool and comfortable in the summer. In cold weather, it takes heat from outdoor air and moves it into your home.

Heat Pump History

Heat pumps emerged as an electric heating and cooling alternative to traditional HVAC systems in the mid-20th century. They were popular in the Southern and Southwestern regions of the United States, where winters are mild. Early models worked best above 40° Fahrenheit, but would lose their efficiency as the outdoor temperature dropped below freezing.

Heat pumps have come a long way since then. Advances in refrigerant and compressor technology have improved heat pump performance in freezing weather. Modern heat pumps can keep your home warm when outdoor temperatures dip below zero.

Dual Fuel, Ductless

Heat pumps are sold and installed everywhere in the U.S. They can serve as the sole HVAC system for heating and cooling or be paired with a furnace. If you install a dual fuel system, you alternate between using your heat pump and your furnace.

Your heat pump handles most of the heating and all cooling for your Tacoma home. As the temperature drops into single digits, your high-efficiency furnace kicks in.

A ductless mini split pairs a heat pump with one or more air handlers that distribute warm and cool air throughout your home. You can hide air handlers in ceilings, mount them to walls, or place them on the floor. Each operates independently with individual thermostats. A ductless mini split is a perfect solution for renovations, garages, accessory buildings, and homes without ductwork. 

Cold Climate Heat Pumps

As the federal government increased efficiency standards for air-source heat pumps this year, its ENERGY STAR® program introduced a new “cold climate” certification that helps identify which products work best when outdoor temperatures plummet.

ENERGY STAR says the new certification requires third-party verified performance for low temperatures and testing heat pumps down to 5° Fahrenheit. Testing cold climate performance at such a low temperature ensures your air-source heat pump will keep you comfortable all winter.

Call the Heat Pump Experts

Let our pros at Resicon LLC recommend the best heating and cooling solution for your Tacoma, WA, home. Call us at 253-625-7952 or request service online.

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