Managing your household smartly involves choosing the most efficient way to achieve your yearly needs. Your choice of HVAC and your home maintenance schedule play an important role in year-long household efficiency. If you want to use less electricity and achieve more comfort each year, sometimes a home upgrade is called for.
Most homes in the Kansas City area have central air and furnace heating. These two systems alternate in the summer and winter each year, turning off one and on the other, sometimes using two different sources of fuel from season to season. Upgrading to a heat pump, however, can allow you to use efficient electric power using a reversible coolant system all year long.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
A typical AC system uses a cycle of coolant fluid in tubes that expands and contracts. This process removes heat from inside the house and releases it outside the house. A heat pump system does this in the summer, but it can also reverse the flow. During the autumn and in mild winters, it can instead pull heat from the outside air (even when it is cold outside) and bring that heat indoors through the coolant fluid, which is used to heat the air inside the home.
Heat pumps save you space and energy, combining your heat and AC into a single unit and reducing the fuel needed in the winter to stay warm. Heat pumps are also excellent for outbuildings, and home additions where extending your ductwork is not an efficient option.
All Summer and Temperate Cold
The thing about heat pumps is that they are quite energy-efficient and do not require any fuel beyond electricity. Heat pumps become less effective if the temperature drops below freezing. so they are often paired with a traditional furnace or electric heating system that is only needed in the coldest part of winter. This allows you to save on fuel and enjoy an efficient year-round system.
A heat pump will keep your family cool all summer long and generate heat during the cooling autumn and the cold side of Spring. In mild years, you may not need a furnace at all, and your furnace will only be needed during the coldest days or nights of the year.
Replacing Your Central AC With a Heat Pump System
The most practical time to add a heat pump to your household HVAC system is when replacing your central air unit. Because a heat pump and central AC function the same way, it makes an excellent replacement that will add functionality and performance to your home’s air quality and energy efficiency.
The right time to replace your AC is when the old AC had aged out or if you are building home additions that will require a larger central air unit to reach. Replacing your AC with a heat pump will give you access to year-round heating and cooling simply by switching the direction that coolant flows through the tubes and coils.
Adding a Heat Pump to Your Home’s HVAC
If your HVAC and furnace are functioning normally, but could be more efficient, you might consider adding a heat pump to your home’s internal AC system. Heat pumps are often installed in distant parts of the house which are under-served by the home’s central air system. Very old Kansas City homes that may only have wall or window AC units can, however, be upgraded to a central air system with the addition of a heat pump. The heat pump’s indoor and outdoor units work together to bring versatile heating and cooling to any indoor space.
Installing a Multi-Zone Heat Pump System
Did you know that a heat pump can also be used in a multi-zone design? Ductless mini-split AC technology works just as well with a heat pump as does with an AC-only system. With a multi-zone heat pump system, you can set each room of the house to the most comfortable temperature and enjoy both heating and cooling by cycling coolant fluid through tubes that run behind the walls to the outdoor unit.
With a multi-zone system, be sure to set each thermostat based on comfort instead of your usual favorite thermostat number, as the positioning of the unit may change how it reads the temperature in the room.
Installing a Heat Pump for a Guest House or Home Addition
One of the best times to install a heat pump system is when you are building a new space for your home. A large home addition or an outbuilding like a guest house or exterior office may not neatly fit into your ducted home HVAC system. Too large an addition, and you may throw off the air balance of your entire home if you duct it in. And exterior structures always need separate heating and cooling.
Why not choose the most efficient, all-in-one option? A heat pump is an excellent HVAC choice for new home additions because it can provide heating and cooling at a very efficient energy rate. This way, you don’t need two new systems – AC and heating – or to throw your central air off-balance.
Should You Upgrade Your Home with a Heat Pump?
Heat pump installation can be beneficial in many homes and structures. Of course, knowing if it is the right choice to upgrade your home will depend on your home’s specific design, needs, and how you plan to use it. Adding a heat pump provides an efficient backup or replacement air system. Replacing your AC system with a heat pump increases your entire home’s system functionality. Installing a heat pump in a new space can save money and energy efficiency rather than extending your current central air system.
In each case, the right size, location, and approach to heat pump installation will also depend on your home.
All-Year Heat Pump Maintenance
Getting the best performance out of your heat pump involves regular maintenance, like all aspects of your HVAC system. The best way to never worry if your heat pump is performing at optimum efficiency is with a year-round HVAC maintenance plan.
Schedule a Heat Pump Consultation for Your Home
Are you ready for a heat pump or curious about how a heat pump could improve your home’s air quality, versatility, or energy efficiency? Contact us today to discuss heat pump options for your home and book an in-home consultation to discover the right size, location, and strategy for upgrading your home with a heat pump installation or begin an HVAC maintenance plan.