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.
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.
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.
Heat pump systems are very common in Arizona. In a gas split system, a furnace in the interior of the home supplies the heating power during winter months and an outdoor condenser (in conjunction with an indoor coil mounted on top of the furnace) supplies the cooling power during summer months. The blower motor in the furnace is actually used for moving air throughout the home when the system is both heating and cooling. In a heat pump split system, the outdoor condenser is replaced with a heat pump, which looks nearly identical to an air conditioning condenser. However, a heat pump can operate in cooling mode similar to a typical air conditioning condenser, BUT can also operate in reverse, taking the heat in the outside air and “pumping” it into the home for heating operation. Hence the term “heat pump.” Heat pumps are great at heating homes in milder climates, but in very cold climates (generally when temperatures are below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods), heat pumps have a difficult time heating the home. Given the mild temperatures of Arizona, heat pumps are well suited to the climate. In the interior of the home, since a furnace is not needed, a heat pump is paired with an “air handler,” which is basically an indoor evaporator coil paired with a blower motor. While this term may seem fancy, it’s just a typical furnace and coil combination without the heating components. The benefits of heat pumps are:
For customers looking to replace their current air conditioning system, a heat pump is most advantageous in the following situations:
After your investment in a heat pump, the maintenance on your system is similar to a split gas system. However, heat pumps are more complicated in many ways than split gas systems so that twice annual maintenance is more important. These maintenance visits are even more important if you choose a high-efficiency system. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling has a deep bench of service technicians and installers who can both install and maintain your heat pump system no matter where you are in the life cycle of your current system – whether you are simply looking to ensure that your existing system is properly maintained or looking to replace or upgrade your existing system. If you recently relocated from a colder climate with a split gas system, there are a few differences you may notice if you now have a heat pump system:
At Semper Fi Heating & Cooling, we are well versed in all residential heating and cooling applications and stand ready to serve you no matter what type of home comfort system you may have or what upgrades you are interested in.