People expect more from their heating and cooling system than ever before. That makes it a little harder to find one that checks all your boxes. But, thanks to the latest technology available, and some of the newest trends, we have a solution that meets — and often exceeds! — today’s expectations.
Even if you’ve heard about heat pumps before, there’s a lot more to learn. Today’s models can heat or cool better than just about any conventional furnace or central air system on the market. But, that’s not all.
They also cost way less to run, which saves you money. And, they use far less natural resources, which reduces your carbon footprint, and helps save the planet.
And, for us personally here at Compass Heating and Air, it helps us all become more energy independent. When using fewer resources, you’re much less reliant on “the grid,” or the government, or a foreign country, for the fuel or energy your home needs.
You might be thinking we’re trying to sell you some magical cure-all. It sure seems that way, right? But it’s not like the technology we’re talking about popped up out of nowhere.
In reality, heat pumps have been around — and have been evolving — for decades. Today, they’re pretty much standard in other countries. And, they’re gaining popularity here.
So, do they live up to the hype? We think so. After all, we use them for our own home! And, we’d like to talk in detail about how and why they work so well.
As you can see, there’s a lot to go over. More than we can fit in one article, at least. But, we hope this serves as a good starting point. You can check out some more articles on the topic here. Or, listen to our podcast, where we talk about energy efficiency and related topics.
And, if you’re in the Fox River Valley, give us a call! We’re here to help.
A heat pump is an HVAC appliance that heats and cools your home. But, it doesn’t burn fossil fuels or use electricity to generate heat. Instead, it uses heat transfer, moving heat, or thermal energy, from one place to another. In the winter, it draws heat into the house. In the summer, it moves the warmth out of your home.
We’ll get more into the technical explanation next. If you’re not as interested in the nuts and bolts, you can skip ahead to where we talk about cost savings and energy efficiency.
Heat pumps work using a coolant liquid that runs in a closed loop between the indoor and outdoor components. For instance, if you have a mini split, the loop goes from the heat pump to the air handlers in each room.
With a ducted system, the loop goes to an indoor unit, and warm or cool air pushes through the vents from there.
There are a few different kinds of heat pumps. But the most common, by far, for Fox River Valley homes are air-source heat pumps. So, we’ll discuss those.
In heating mode, the coolant is cold when it’s outside. That attracts thermal energy because heat always moves toward cold spots.
The heat warms up the liquid, which evaporates and travels to the indoor unit. Once it’s there, the unit transfers the heat to the air inside. That’s how it warms up the house.
Then, the system works the other way in the summer: The coolant is cool when it’s inside, so it draws the heat in your house. Then, it transfers that heat outside, leaving you with cool air.
So, why is this system better than conventional furnaces and central air?
The heat transfer process is much more efficient than combustion furnaces because you never burn gas or use electricity to generate heat. Instead, you just need a tiny bit of power for the heat pump to run the transfer process.
If we’re comparing electric heaters to electric heaters, then let’s compare this to baseboard heaters. The heat pumps use 30 to 40 percent less energy than baseboard units. And, they offer better comfort.
We’ve also seen utility costs drop by almost half when comparing natural gas or electric furnaces to heat pumps.
Heat pumps conserve energy because they don’t burn fossil fuels to create heat. That means no combustion with natural gas, oil, or propane. And, while they use electricity, they don’t use a ton of power to heat up coils. Again, it’s just a tiny bit of energy for the heat transfer.
Essentially, it’s using renewable energy: Heat from the air around you. The earth is constantly getting warmed by the sun, and your heat pump uses that energy to keep you warm in the winter.
So we’ve talked about cost savings and energy conservation on a small scale. Now, let’s look at the bigger picture: Heat pumps and carbon footprints.
The quick point here is that when you use less energy, you reduce your carbon footprint. But, what are the stats?
Well, something like 30 percent of all carbon emissions comes from heating homes and buildings. That’s around 6.6 billion tonnes of CO2 every year. Older studies showed that heat pumps could reduce that amount by nearly 1 billion tons annually — a huge chunk.
And, that number just keeps getting better and better. Today, we’re looking at plans and ideas for buildings that use nearly zero energy, thanks to heat pumps.
But that’s the big picture, where governments, commercial construction, and other prominent groups have to sign on. What about you, the homeowner?
Well, you can get pretty darn close to net-zero yourself. And a heat pump plays a significant role.
When you combine the energy-efficient heat transfer process with solar power for your home, you’re at nearly 100 percent renewable resources. There’s no exhaust from gas or oil and no electrical grid using dirty energy to bring you power.
When it comes to the best heat pumps available today, Compass Heating and Air are the certified experts in McHenry, IL, and across the Fox River Valley. As a Daikin Comfort Pro and Mitsubishi Diamond Elite Dealer, we’re here to answer all your questions and choose the best system for your home.