Looking for a new heating and air conditioning system for your existing or new home? Considering a heat pump? The professional HVAC technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling can help you with those decisions. We can help you find the right heat pump that is correctly sized for your home. We can install your new heat pump professionally and provide a warranty. Our service technicians can keep your heat pump running efficiently for many years to come.
A heat pump is a single HVAC appliance that uses electricity and refrigeration techniques to produce heat or cooling. There are two components to a heat pump system: a condenser unit that sits outside of your home and produces heating or cooling, and an indoor unit that distributes hot or cool air in your home at the level set by your thermostat. For efficient heating and cooling, heat pumps stand out as the best option. With a heat pump, the heat doesn’t come from a gas or electric heat source, so no fossil fuels were burned to create heat. The heat and cooling come from underground. Electrical power is required to pump the refrigerant and distribute the heated or cooled air.
In the summer, the heat pump unit pumps warm refrigerant underground where it naturally cools, then returns that cool air that is distributed to your home. In winter, the same heat pump unit sends cool refrigerant underground where it warms up and returns to produce warm air that is distributed to your home. It is all done by the same unit; just flip a switch from winter to summer as needed.
Perhaps the simplest way to state it is that heat pumps do not generate heat; they just move heat from one place to another. Since a heat pump uses electricity for distribution of hot or cold air rather than the generation of heat, it is very efficient. Heat pumps save you money on energy costs.
Different parts of the country experience seasonal air temperature extremes. Depending on the location, the underground temperature at 10 to 12 feet below the surface can range from 45 to 75 degrees. In winter, the underground temperature is higher than surface air; in summer it is lower. Universally, the underground temperature is more stable than the above-ground temperature. It stays relatively the same year-round, no matter how hot or cold it is above ground.
The installation cost of a heat pump system can be significantly higher than the cost of an air-sourced system with comparable capacity. The additional cost is offset by energy savings over the first 5-10 years and the savings continues for years longer. The average life span of the above-ground component of a heat pump system is 24 years. The underground parts of the system should last for more than 50 years. About 50,000 heat pumps are installed in the U.S. each year.
The underground tubing comes up to an air handler unit which contains a coil and fan that move air through the cooler or heater, depending on the season. It contains a large blower that moves air through ductwork just like conventional furnaces and air conditioners. Heat pumps require a special thermostat because the fluid flows in both directions. In the summer, it extracts heat and replaces it with cool; in winter, it extracts cool and replaces it with heat. There are many types of thermostats available, including smart and programmable models.
Heat pumps are more expensive to install than air systems, but the higher initial cost is offset over time by lower energy bills. Heat pumps do use electrical energy to pump fluid through the underground system and to extract the heat or cooling from the fluid. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, heat pumps can reduce energy consumption up to 44% compared to air-sourced systems, and 72% compared to electrical heating. Additional savings can be obtained by adding a device to heat water. In the winter, the extracted heat will provide hot water for free; in the summer, water heating costs may be reduced by half.
Technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling are trained and experienced with heat pump installation and service. Your heat pump will provide many years of low-maintenance, dependable, and low-cost heating and cooling in Arizona.