Heat-pump systems can be very energy-efficient and economical home comfort solutions for homeowners here in the Indianapolis area. Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling by absorbing heat from areas where it’s not needed – transferring heat into the home in winter and flushing it out in summer. Moving heat requires less energy than generating it, as traditional furnace systems do.
In our climate, with temperatures dropping below freezing for extended periods during a normal winter, many residents opt for heat pumps that incorporate a backup gas furnace, as a dual-fuel system. This allows the system to switch to backup at a certain pre-set temperature balance point, so that the pump is always powered by the least expensive, most effective fuel. A less-efficient electric resistance coil system, something like those in a toaster, may also be used as backup.
The federal Energy Star program points out that heat pumps are only energy efficient if properly maintained and set up, noting that more than half of all heat pumps are inhibited by issues with low airflow, leaking duct work, or inaccurate refrigerant charge and unprotected outdoor units. Here’s how to avoid these efficiency problems and boost performance:
- Air flow: Your HVAC technician should check air flow regularly and maintain a level of 400 to 500 cfm (cubic feet per minute). Duct retrofitting may be needed to reach proper air flow, if preventive maintenance such as cleaning the evaporator coil and adjusting fan speed aren’t sufficient.
- Refrigerant: After air flow has been checked, heat-pump systems should be examined for leaks or incorrect refrigerant pressure and temperature upon installation and at each preventive maintenance visit. Split-system pumps are at risk for errors, since they’re not pre-charged in the factory. Both too-high and too-low pressurization waste energy, resulting in higher utility bills and a compromise in comfort.
- Outdoor location: The outside component should have wind protection to avoid defrosting problems/decreased efficiency. Try planting a shrub or adding a fence on the upwind side to deflect cold air currents.
Questions about heat-pump systems? Talk to the experts at Mowery Heating and Cooling. Visit our website to learn more or just give us a call.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Mowery services the Brownsburg, Indiana and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our special offers and get started today!
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