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  • Use a Heat Pump for Air Conditioning and Heating

    One way to think of a heat pump is as a reversible air conditioner, which means that one device can provide both heating and cooling. Heat pumps capture heat from the outdoors and compress it. The compressed heated air is then pumped around the home or business. The heat pump doesn't actually generate heat. The principle by which heat pumps work is the same as air conditioners. However, air conditioners cycle the opposite way, expelling heat to the outdoors, instead of drawing it in. While heat pumps are typically reversible and can function as air conditioners, not all air conditioners can be reversed to function as heat pumps.

    Although heat pumps have the advantage of both cooling and heating, their functionality is limited to a moderate climate. An example of an appropriate climate for a heat pump only system would be Washington, DC. As an air conditioner, a heat pump can provide cooling air during hot temperatures. When temperatures drop below freezing though, it becomes harder for a heat pump to work as a heater. Since it functions by drawing heat from the air, it struggles to draw heat from freezing air. One solution is to add electric resistance coils to the heat pump. These coils function as a furnace and provide heat when it's too cold to draw warmth from outdoor air.

    Above freezing temperatures, heat pumps can be up to 40% more efficient than gas furnaces. Heating air requires a great deal of energy. Gas furnaces physically heat the air with a flame. However, heat pumps transition the warmth outdoors into the indoors (though compressing the air can be energy intensive). Heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces until additional electrical resistance coils need to be used to heat the air, which usually occurs around freezing temperature. At this point, the electrical or gas resistance coils are not as efficient as a gas furnace.

    If a heat pump promises to meet your heating and cooling needs, there are a few options to consider. Heat pumps come in a variety of sizes, measured in tonnage. To properly size a heat pump, home and business owners should complete a heat load calculation. This calculation takes insulation, square footage and climate factors into account and then recommends a tonnage. Heat pumps are usually electric, but some resistance coils can be gas-powered, depending on your preferences. SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency rating, is another way to determine the best heat pump for a home or business. Higher ratings translate to a more efficient heat pump. With these options in mind, it's easy to select the appropriate heat pump for your home or business.

  • Heat Pump Replacement: How to Tell Your Heat Pump Needs Replacing

    Heat pump replacement Heat pump replacement

    Heat pumps allow thermal energy to move against its impulsive flow direction by applying heat absorption within a cold space and then continue movement to a warmer space. A heat pump is a mechanical device that can break down and likely needs to be replaced. Your HVAC system does not need to stop functioning completely for you to think about replacing any part of it. You will notice warning signs that will alert you when it comes time for a heat pump replacement.

    Taking Steps

    If your heat pump stops functioning altogether, then the next step is to get a replacement. However, in the meantime, there are signs that you can look for in order to consider replacing your heat pump before it completely breaks down. Let’s take a closer look at this.

    Constant Heat Pump Repairs

    If your heat pump is constantly breaking down and having to be repaired, you may have to look at heat pump replacement. In fact, if it breaks down several times within the same year, this is a sign that replacement should be the next step. If repair costs are too high, then this may call for purchasing an entire HVAC system or just a heat pump, depending on how much you will save. When your heat pump breaks down at a time that it is needed the most, then it can cause so many inconveniences. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that you hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect your system before the weather becomes cold.

    Abnormal Noises

    If you hear abnormal noises coming from your HVAC system, it may be time for heat pump replacement. All mechanical devices are designed to operate smoothly with no internal resistance or too much friction. With abnormal noises coming from the heat pump, you may have loose parts and components that have started to wear down. A professional HVAC technician will assess the situation, tracing the specific parts or components that may be loosened. This includes:

    • Depleted motors
    • Vents
    • Defective ductwork
    • Dirty filters

    The moving parts may be able to be repaired. However, if nothing changes after the repair, it may be time for a new heat pump replacement. This is the more permanent solution.

    Increased Energy Consumption

    If you notice that your energy bill is steadily increasing and you are still operating the same number of mechanical devices and appliances in your home, this could point toward energy being lost somewhere. The only time you should see an increase in energy consumption is when you add a new appliance. A professional HVAC contractor will be able to determine the cause of the increase and if the heat pump is the cause, a replacement should be done.

    Conclusion

    If you have had your heat pump for a number of years, it may be the time for a heat pump replacement. A professional HVAC contractor will assess and make the appropriate recommendations of how long you should keep your heat pump before doing an upgrade.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecolivinguk/8019127396/

  • What are the Different HVAC Systems to Consider?

    HVAC Systems HVAC Systems

    There are different HVAC systems that homeowners and business owners need to consider when choosing the system that is appropriate for their particular needs. Two such systems are the cooling only split system, cooling only packing system, heat pump, chilled water system, window air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pump.

    Split System

    What is the cooling only split system? It is a blend of outdoor condensation and indoor air handling. The unit for handling indoor air consists of a cooling coil and air supply fan as well as the expansion apparatus. The unit for condensation contains a condenser coil and compressor. These make up the split system, usually found in small commercial offices and residential homes. If you are looking for a high energy efficiency rating for your air conditioning systems, then this split system is recommended. System manufacturers have been required to increase the EER rating to offer varying degrees to accommodate various seasons. If the building requires heating, then a different method is used, but it is generally in the form of gas or electric.

    Packaged System

    The cooling only packaged system is a sole unit with a combination of the same elements in the split system. The unit has to be installed on the exterior of the building since it is packaged. The indoor air has to be ducted away from the building and enter through the utilized air distribution system. The SEER rating for the packaged system starts from 10 and goes up to 18. In a situation where heating is necessary, a different method is used, which is generally gas or electric.

    Heat Pump

    HVAC systems that offer only cooling are similar to the heat pump, but with a single exception. Heat pumps have a unique valve found in the refrigeration piping, which allows the cycle to run in the reverse. The cooling only system works by cooling the air indoors and rejecting the outdoor heat. The heat pump works by cooling the air indoors and upon reversing the valve, it can heat the air indoors.

    Window Air Conditioners

    An air conditioner unit installed in a window or customarily in the opening of a wall is usually accommodated by some homeowners and business owners. This option should be the last resort since a window unit only cools a small and confined space.

    Packaged Terminal Heat Pump

    The window air conditioner unit and the packaged terminal heat pump are quite similar in features. They are installed through a wall opening and are self-contained, requiring electrical connection. The downside is the noise that is emitted and the high operating cost.

    Conclusion

    Choose from the list of HVAC systems wisely. You can receive recommendations from an experienced HVAC contractor before you go ahead and purchase one. You will also need help from an HVAC contractor to install your system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5923527935/

  • HVAC System Design for Commercial Installation

    HVAC Systems HVAC Systems

    Did you know that your heating and ventilation and air conditioning system provides your home with about 30% energy? This is common for small offices and residential homes as well. When you have a well-designed air conditioning system, it does adequately cool a building, but it also reduces the energy consumption. In addition, it also improves the building’s air quality without causing any damages to the environment.

    Industrial and Manufacturing

    In a manufacturing warehouse or industrial building, the HVAC system has various combinations of devices for heating and cooling. Some of these devices include:

    • Electric heat
    • Heat pump
    • Rooftop unit
    • Furnace
    • Chillers
    • Boilers
    • Central AC units

    For the commercial HVAC system installation, there are various system designs to choose from. For this reason, the installation should be done by an HVAC technician with industrial installation experience because some of these designs can be complicated while others are simple.

    Industrial Plant

    In the industrial plant, a basic system would be utilized in a single zone. Modifications are made when necessary to offer coverage to multiple plants or other large areas. For the basic industrial system, the air comes in from the air intake feature, which is usually found on the side or top of the building. Through atmospheric pressure, the forced air goes through a damper. The air is regulated to take in the amount that is required to cool the building. The air that previously went through the HVAC system will subsequently join with the external air.

    The Combination

    This combination is then filtered through the air filter, removing any large particles in it such as bugs, leaves and dust. After this, there is a second filtration process that handles the smaller particles prior to going through the fan. Once the air comes through the fan, it is then cooled or heated by the coils. If there is any condensation, a drain pan does the collection from the coils. The air then goes through the air duct to heat or cool the building, after which it returns through the air registers to be combined with newly created air or it goes out the building.

    Conclusion

    A basic HVAC system offers comfort to a specifically small space while a commercial HVAC system covers a wider space and has elements that consist of:

    • Packaged units
    • Window units
    • Heat pumps

    You will find a commercial system with evaporative coolers, chilled water systems and direct expansion coolers. So, if you own an industrial plant and need to have your HVAC installation done, the complex nature of it will require an experience and specialized HVAC technician. With a bad HVAC installation, you can end up paying higher cost in energy and have terrible air quality.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/elinoralex/6374891781/

  • How to Maintain Your Heat Pump for Adequate Efficiency in Cold Temps

    Heating System Heating System

    A heat pump can be effective in keeping you warm, if sufficient maintenance and care is applied, especially during the winter months. If regular maintenance is not conducted, then you may experience higher-than-usual electric bills. In addition, you may have to spend more money on repair. So be sure to consider ongoing heat pump maintenance as part of the preventative measure to having an efficient system. Yes, there are minor things that homeowners can do with their heat pump equipment, but for the most part, it would be more beneficial to hire a HVAC contract to provide regular maintenance or to handle the technical issues deriving from a much larger problem.

    Air Filter

    To make sure that you heat pump equipment is performing at its optimum level in the winter season, it is important to replace the air filters. Over time, the air filters will get dirty and this can greatly decrease efficiency, resulting in subsequent damage to the heating system. A HVAC contractor will ensure the appropriate fitting and accurate size of your air filter. These air filters have to be changed at least one time during a three month period.

    Programmed Thermostat

    Use a thermostat that can be programmed so that you can set schedules of heating to save money on electricity when you really don’t need any heating. A programmed thermostat will also help to run your heating system more efficiently. Choose the right programmable thermostat that will give you the most value.

    Air Ducts

    Make sure that your air duct is not leaking. If it is, then you will lose energy. A HVAC technical will seal the air ducts found in places like your basement, garage and attic. The technician will also check to make sure that your registers are installed properly. It is best to have your heating and cooling system serviced during the fall months in order to prepare for the cold.

    Air Flow Increase

    Be sure that the air duct system in each room comprises of a supply register and return register. Many homes do not have enough return registers to facilitate good air flow and so the result is lack of energy efficiency. With only one return register, the air flow will be obstructed with diminished air circulation, pressurizing some areas in the home. Improve the air flow in your home by cleaning the return ducts and the coils in your heating system.

    Conclusion

    Nine times out of ten, you may need a HVAC contractor to make sure that you have an efficiently working heat pump. Your contractor will also ensure that the heat pump equipment was properly installed in the first place. So, don’t wait until something happens. Call a HVAC company today for proper maintenance and installation of your heating system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucidcommunication/4892698226/

  • Heating Pump Condenser

    Heating Pump Condensor Unit in an AC

    Many people use air conditioners and heating systems, but very few people actually know how they work. As far as most people know, you turn on the thermostat and the rest is taken care of from there. However, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to heating and air. When it comes to these systems, heating pump condensers are an important aspect that many have seen, but few have considered.

    Many may have seen the large box outside of buildings that have central heating and cooling. With these units, there are two main parts. One’s the evaporator that takes heat and turns it into cool, and then the condenser which takes the heat and forces it outside. It works because it makes the refrigerant change from a gas to a liquid using condensation. The heating pump condenser is located on the outside of the building or home.

    All condensers are made of the same base parts. The main piece is the condenser coil which contains the refrigerant, but it also contains a fan and a compressor. The coil is often made of copper and aluminum, or it can be made completely of aluminum so heat can be properly transferred. The fan is used to circulate air to best facilitate heat transfer. The compressor is used to compress the refrigerant and pump it into the coil in a gaseous state. In the heating pump condenser, the gas is pumped into the evaporator coil to provide heat.

    Heat pump condensers have a bit more to them than that of regular condensers. They have a few more components such as a defrost timer, adjustable temperature sensor, and a reversing valve. All of these parts are very important in making the machine as a whole work. The reversing valve directs the gas to the condenser coil for cooling, or to the evaporator coil for heating. When the condenser coil gets frosted over, the defrost control will switch the fan off causing the coil to heat up and melt the ice. The defrost control will switch the fan back on once the coil is running efficiently again.

    Due to the fact that heat pump condensers need to exchange heat with air, they must be installed outdoors to be able to work as intended. If heat is released outside, it won’t change the outside temperature. However, if the unit is kept inside, it’ll alter the temperature. The installation of the heat pump condenser can be done by oneself if desired. Most units will come with installation instructions as well as information about how to inspect your model. Diagrams and picture references are often given as well as a list of tools needed to complete the installation.

    There are even videos on YouTube that can teach easy installation.

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