The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex tends to have a moderate temperature climate that averages less than 23 days below freezing per year. If you live in DFW, getting a heat pump can be a welcome addition to your home’s central heating and air system, and may help you save on your energy bills year-round.
What is a heat pump, and how does it work?
Installation of a heat pump system consists of two parts - an air handler (indoor unit), and a heat pump (outdoor unit). In principle, a heat pump can be likened to a refrigerator. It uses refrigerant that circulates through indoor and outdoor coils, absorbing and releasing heat as it travels. It’s a system that can be reversed to either heat or cool a controlled space, depending on the season. Even if the outside air seems too cold, heat energy is always present. A heat pump can be highly efficient because it transfers that heat energy rather than create it.
Factors to consider when using a heat pump:
- A heat pump can always pull heat energy from the air. That said, a heat pump becomes less energy-efficient when temperatures drop below freezing (approx. 32°F).
- Using a heat pump in conjunction with a gas furnace can help lower energy costs if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing frequently. So you can use electric heating until the temperature drops dramatically, and switch to gas heating when it becomes more practical to do so.
- Do not use the “emergency heat” setting on really cold days, as this can drive up your utility bills. Instead, switch over to your gas furnace or keep running your heat pump on its “normal” setting.
- Heat pumps come with a defrost mode, which is important for effective operation during colder months. If ice begins to form on your outdoor components, the heat pump will automatically reverse operation to defrost those components.
- Installing a programmable thermostat will help maximize energy efficiency by shutting off the system when it’s not needed. In this way, you don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring your thermostat.
- Check and clean filters regularly. This will ensure that the air you are receiving in your home is clean, and your system is running smoothly. It will also help extend your system’s longevity.
- Keep leaves, dust and other debris away from your outside unit to prevent blocked airflow.
- Regular tune-ups will ensure that your system is in peak condition for both heating and cooling throughout the year.
If you’re interested in a new heat pump and/or programmable thermostat, contact A#1 Air now. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you pick the right options that meet your home’s specific needs.