Many Western Slope homes have heat pumps for heating and air conditioning. While these systems are among the most energy efficient of all HVAC equipment, knowing how they work will help you keep them running as efficiently as they were designed to do. These HVAC systems offer ample energy efficiency because they move heat from place to place instead of burning fuel to generate heat.
The air-source heat pump, the most common variety, has three main components – the outdoor compressor/condenser, the indoor air handler and the thermostat. The compressor contains a coil through which the refrigerant circulates, fins that act as radiators, dispelling heat, and a fan to exhaust heat from the coil and fins. The air handler contains an evaporator coil and heat exchanger, and a blower motor and fan that circulates the air through the ducts. A thermostat controls when the system starts and stops.
You can improve the performance of heat pumps when you:
- Keep the air handler’s filter clean. Nothing impedes the pump’s efficiency like a dirty filter. It slows the passage of air and the transference of heat or cold from the interior coil. When the parts in the air handler get dirty, they can cause the compressor to run continually, escalating your electric bill and eventually causing compressor failure.
- Inspect the outdoor condenser after strong winds or storms. Removing any debris that’s close to the condenser assures the free passage of air. Hosing off the compressor and its parts removes dust, helping the system run more efficiently.
- Keep your duct system sealed and insulated properly. This will ensure that the conditioned air you’re paying for gets to its destination, without leaking or dissipating through uninsulated ductwork.
- Keep ducts clean and have the ductwork cleaned and inspected at least every 5 years.
The Climate Control Company provides HVAC services for Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties in Western Colorado. Contact us to learn more about increasing the performance of your heat pump for your upcoming summer cooling needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
Climate Control Company services Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado.
|Heat Pump image via Shutterstock|