Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for the ‘Heat Pumps’ Category

Does Your Home Need a Heat Pump?

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Maitland, FL benefits from long, hot summers and very mild winters. That makes autumn an ideal season to assess your heating and cooling needs and replace an HVAC system that may be on its last legs. It also means that heat pump technology makes an excellent option for both heating and cooling your home: a single unit that does it all. Here’s a quick breakdown on how it works and why it might be a good fit for your household. 

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How Do I Tell How Efficient My New Heat Pump Will Be?

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Just about anything mechanical you buy comes with some kind of rating to tell you how much energy the item will consume. With cars, it is the miles per gallon (mpg). With furnaces and boilers, the rating is AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). So what is the rating when it comes to your heat pump HVAC system? The acronym is HSPF, which stands for heating seasonal performance factor.

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Do You Know How Efficient Your Heat Pump Is?

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Heat pumps are great HVAC systems to own in Orlando, FL. They provide excellent cooling during our long summer months and with the touch of a button on your thermostat, they can just as easily switch to heating during the short winter months. Heat pumps are known for their efficiency, which is why so many people choose them as their household HVAC systems. But do you know how to tell exactly how efficient your system is? It’s something called HSPF.

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Why Do I Need to Maintain My Heat Pump Again?

Monday, November 16th, 2015

It’s official: we are heading into the winter season here in Orlando. While our temperatures belie the coming season, before we know it, we’ll be in throes of the holiday season, and our mild temperatures will begin to cool. If you have a heat pump system, you may have already switched to heating once or twice to take the chill from the nighttime air, but before you turn the heat on all the way, remember to schedule heating maintenance. Many homeowners wonder why they need to schedule their heat pumps for maintenance when they just did so in the spring. We’ll explain more below.

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3 Signs Your Heat Pump May Need Repair

Monday, May 18th, 2015

If you have a heat pump system in your home, you know how convenient it is to use one system to heat and cool your home. Because heat pumps work twice as much as separate heating and cooling systems, they can be more prone to developing repair needs. As the homeowner, it’s in your best interest to stay aware of signs that can indicate a problem has developed with your heat pump. However, it can be hard deciphering these signs sometimes, especially when your heat pump is still operable. To help you, the HVAC experts at Downtown Air & Heat have put together a short list of signs that it may be time to give us a call:

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Consider a Heat Pump When Installing a New Air Conditioner

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

When it’s time to have a new air conditioning installation in Winter Garden, FL, you don’t actually have to put in a new AC. We don’t mean you should go without electro-mechanical cooling for the summer. You can have the same quality of cool air vented through your home, except instead of coming from a standard air conditioning system, a heat pump will take care of the job.

The name “heat” may sound like this is a bad choice for summer weather. But the name heat pump only describes the action of these appliances: they pump heat from one location to another. Air conditioners do the same job, moving heat from indoors to the outdoors. Heat pump take it to the next step, since they can also move heat from the outdoors to the indoors. In other words, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can change the direction it operates, working as both a cooling and heating system.

Here are some of the reasons you should put a heat pump on your list of possible replacements for your old air conditioner. To learn more, contact Downtown Air & Heat today and speak to our AC specialists.

Reasons a heat pump might your best choice for comfort

  • You won’t sacrifice cooling: Although a heat pump does two jobs, that doesn’t lessen the effectiveness of the cooling side. A heat pump works as well in cooling mode as an air conditioner of comparable size. You won’t experience a drop in your comfort during the summer heat if you have the right size heat pump installed.
  • You’ll have effective heating: One of the few drawbacks of heat pumps is that they lose efficiency in heating mode if the temperature outdoor drops too low (below freezing). Heat pumps must absorb outdoor heat, and this becomes difficult in extreme cold weather. However, this is almost never a problem in Florida, so you can expect to eliminate your old heating system as well as your current air conditioning system when you install a heat pump.
  • You’ll have lower heating bills: You can expect to pay about the same for your cooling as you would with an AC. With heating, however, you will see around a 30% savings with a heat pump compared to systems like gas and electric furnaces, as studied have demonstrated. The secret of the efficiency of a heat pump is that is doesn’t expend energy to burn fuel in order to heat up the air. It uses electricity to run mechanical parts that move heat, and this requires less power.

Reasons you might not want a heat pump

The truth of the situation is that no home comfort system is perfect for every home. Your home may get by with its current AC/heater set up, and the extra expense of a heat pump won’t benefit you that much.

To find out if your home is suited for a heat pump, call Downtown Air & Heat today for an appointment. We will find you the ideal air conditioning installation in Winter Garden, FL.

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What Is a Heat Pump?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Everyone knows that Air Conditioning units cool, but did you know they can also heat?

One of the most common configurations for an AC system includes an outside unit, called a condenser or condensing unit and a furnace or air handler located in your house (closet, attic, garage, etc).  The condensing unit provides cooling to the home by circulating refrigerant through the system which absorbs heat energy inside and gives it off outside.  Heat is produced in the air handler or furnace by consuming some type of fuel.  Fossil fuels are used in furnaces (ex. natural gas), and electricity is used in air handlers.

In our area, air handlers with electric heat are more common than furnaces.  While a reliable and effective source of heat, electric heat strips (the component that produces heat in the air handler) are very inefficient and expensive to operate.  In this process, electrical energy is being converted directly to heat energy.  To produce more heat, more electricity must be consumed.  Think of it as a 1 to 1 relationship, one unit of energy to make one unit of heat.

Gas furnaces are much more efficient than electric heat strips, but even the smallest furnaces are often 2 to 3 times more powerful than what is required to comfortably heat your home.  They are also more expensive to purchase.  If you already have natural gas service in your home, a gas furnace is a good way to go.  If you don’t, you’re better off getting a heat pump.

So what is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a condensing unit with a few added components, not an actual pump or individual part.  From the outside, it looks exactly like a condensing unit.  The added components allow the process or air conditioning to be reversed to heat the home.  When your thermostat calls for heat, the reversing valve redirects the flow of refrigerant; heat is absorbed outside and given off inside.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but there is still a lot of heat energy in the air at 40 degrees or even 20.  A heat pump cost more than a condensing unit, but can save you a lot of money on your winter utility bills, especially if it’s a cold year.   That’s because it is more efficient to move heat that convert it from electricity (3 to 4 times more efficient with conventional equipment).  The warmer the air outside, the more efficient heat pumps become.  This is why heat pumps are so popular in areas with mild climates, such as in Orlando.

If you have any questions about heat pumps or some of the new high-efficiency air conditioning systems out there, call us today at 407-408-7105 and let Downtown Air & Heat educate you on the benefits of these new systems.

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