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Heat Pumps


Heat Pump Specialists
Air-source heat pumps help to heat and cool your home efficiently. Unlike the initial cost of Ground Source Heat Pumps the Air Source can easily adapt to any home or building. Their are options from one room to complete home or building systems. They can bring down your greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%, reduce your heating costs by up to 60% and provide air conditioning in the summer.This is especially true if you live in a climate like Greater Vancouver. Rather than converting heat from fuel like typical combustion heating systems, heat pumps simply move the heat through coils inside and outside the house.

Heat Pumps Efficiency
Heat pumps will deliver 1½ – 3 times more heat energy to your home for every unit of electrical energy it consumes. This means it takes 1kw of energy to move start the compressor and move the fluids containing the energy from your heat pump to your environment. Today’s heat pumps and the reason that Heat Pump Installation is becoming more popular. Heat Pumps today deliver 1½ to 2 times more efficient than those 30 years ago. That’s quite an improvement!

How a Heat Pump Works
If you live in a detached house with ducted or radiant in-floor heating systems, it is best for you to use a heat pump to heat and cool your home. Heat pumps operate like reverse air-conditioners and can provide cool air in the summer. Generally, they can save up to 60% of your heating costs in the winter.

Most heat pumps are split-systems and have one coil inside and one outside. They are connected with supply and return ducts, and are powered by a central fan inside.When cooling, air-source heat pumps pull heat from the home in order to evaporate refrigerants in the indoor coil.

After the gas is compressed, it passes into the outdoor coil and condenses, thus releasing the heat outside. This happens because the compressor and expansion valve change pressure, which allows the gas to condense at a high temperature outside and evaporate at a lower temperature inside.

Packaged Heat Pump Sytems
There are also packaged heat pump systems. With these systems, both the coils and fans are outdoors. Heated and cooled air is delivered from the ductwork (which protrudes through a wall/roof) to the interior.

The heating efficiency measure for air-source electric heat pumps is indicated by the Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF). The HSPF divides the total amount of heating required (measured in BTUs) by the total electrical energy consumed for a given period (measured in watt-hours).

Cooling efficiency, on the other hand, is indicated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The SEER is the total heat removed from a space (BTUs) divided by the total electrical energy consumed for a given period (watt-hours). The most efficient heat pumps rate between 14 and 18. In general, the higher the SEER, the higher the cost of the system. In the long run, though, the system will save you money as it operates more efficiently. For example, if you traded in your old system with a SEER of 6, with a new unit rated at 12, you will use half as much energy and save half as much money.

One of the most significant advances in air-source heat pump technology is the Reverse Cycle Chiller (RCC). With the RCC, you can choose from various heating and cooling distribution systems, including radiant floor systems to forced air, multiple zone, systems. This setup provides hotter air through the supply vents and will lower your electrical bills in the winter. Even at low temperatures the RCC system will operate at peak efficiency. Without electric resistance auxiliary heating coils, you can receive greater comfort with an economical system.

In addition, RCCs can be equipped with a refrigeration heat reclaimer (RHR), similar to the desuperheater coils found on high-end heat pumps and air conditioners. The primary difference is that the RHR produces hot water during the heating season as well as the cooling season by utilizing the excess capacity of the outdoor unit during mild winter days to make (basically free) hot water. In the summer, the system recaptures waste heat from the house provided that the system is cooling the building.

Together, the RCC and RHR systems cost around 25% more than a standard heat pump of similar size. In areas where natural gas is not available, however, it would only take 2 – 3 years before you can make back this additional cost in efficiency savings.

Heat pumps are basically air conditioners which can operate in reverse. Both are based on a liquid absorbing heat as it is vaporized into gas, and that gas releasing heat as it condenses. When heating, a refrigerant is compressed by the compressor within a heat pump and as it is compressed and condensed from a gas to liquid, it will release heat. Heated liquid then travels through a coil where it cools down and releases its heat into the ducts or hot water pipes in your heating system. Finally, the liquid travels through an expansion valve, loses pressure and then absorbs heat in the outdoor coil as it boils into a gas.

Types of Heat Pump Systems
There are two types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps and ground source (geothermal) heat pumps. Air source pumps take heat from outside when heating while ground source pumps take heat from the ground. Ground temperatures stay constant (around 10°C), so they operate more efficiently when the air temperature is below 10°C. However, when air temperatures are above 10°C they are less efficient. In BC’s climate, ground source units save more energy than air source units. That being said, ground source units are much more expensive (5 to 6 times the cost of an air source heat pump , furnace combo), which negates the marginal energy savings.

With air source heat pumps you will recover your money in about 5 to 6 years, from energy savings. And you will have a much more comfortable system. For example, with Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and the lower mainland being considerably mild in climate, take this into consideration before changing your heating and cooling system. At 0 degrees a heat pump will generate 20% of your furnaces energy. At 8 degrees a heat pump will generate 100% of the energy used to heat your home. Think of your furnace as an air handler at 8 degrees, only distributing the energy through your home. There could not be a more efficient system for our climate.

On the coldest days your high efficiency furnace will provide the comfort you have relied on for many years previous. With today’s equipment we deliver heat at a more constant level. Let one of our reliable, referable gasfitter associates perform a heat loss heat gain evaluation on your home to provide the very best in comfort and equipment efficiency. Our Heat Pump People will always keep you and your investment happy