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HVAC Fall Planning: Maybe a Heat Pump?

cold-and-hot-house-symbolsPlanning for winter in Florida may sound a touch strange to people who live elsewhere, since we enjoy mild winters that sometimes feel more like a cooler extension of summer. But this is a period of heavier rains and sometimes weather that makes a heating system necessary. We don’t need extremely powerful heaters the way homes in Minnesota do, but we still need to have reliable and energy-efficient ones.

And this brings us to the heat pump as part of fall HVAC planning. A heat pump is an ideal way for you to enjoy heating and air conditioning in Newberry, FL around the year. It’s one of the best comfort options available for Florida homes.

What a Heat Pump Does

The best way to describe a heat pump is to call it an air conditioning system capable of working in reverse when the homeowner wants it to. Think about the operation of a central AC, which is something you’re definitely familiar with: as your home receives cool air blown through the vents, heat is exhausted to the outside through the condenser unit. If you stand by the condenser cabinet outdoors, you’ll feel the hot air that was drawn out of the air inside the house. This is the process of heat exchange, moving heat from one place to another.

Now, what if you could flip the AC around and have the heat instead blown into the house? You’d have a heating system. The heat exchange process is drawing thermal energy from outside and releasing it inside.

A heat pump is able to do this by changing the direction it circulates refrigerant through the system. The change in refrigerant direction causes the two sets of coils to swap functions and turn the cooling system into a heating system. It’s as simple as making an adjustment to the thermostat.

The Heat Pump at Work in Florida

If a heat pump has one drawback, it’s that it can lose efficiency in extremely cold weather. Since the heat pump’s outdoor coils must remove heat from the air during cold weather, the job can be difficult when there just isn’t much heat available. When the outdoor temperature drops below freezing, a heat pump may start to turn inefficient.

But in Florida—no problem! A heat pump is suited perfectly for our weather. Our coldest days still pose no difficulty for a heat pump in heating mode. The warmth from a heat pump is also less stuffy than what comes from a standard furnace, increasing comfort. And, of course, the heat pump is an excellent air conditioning system for the many, many days of the Florida year when you need to cool down.

If you are currently considering a new AC and you don’t have a heater, or your heater is aging and wasting energy, we recommend considering a heat pump installation. You’ll be ready for winter and summer—and any other time of the year.

Learn more about heat pumps and arrange for fall installation. Touchstone Heating & Air Inc has served the communities of North Central Florida since 1998.

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