When it comes to workhorses in the heating and cooling industry, residential heat pumps pave the way. Unlike conventional HVAC systems equipped with a furnace and an air conditioner, heat pumps pull double-duty, providing heating and cooling for year-round comfort.
Although heat pumps are slowly gaining traction in the Burlington, KY, and Greater Cincinnati areas, many homeowners are still unfamiliar with this reliable and energy-efficient piece of HVAC equipment. In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling experts at Poston Brothers explain how a heat pump operates and how it typically lasts.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
First, let’s explain how a heat pump system works. Heat pumps use a refrigeration cycle to cool and heat your home throughout the year. In the summer, electric heat pumps operate just like traditional air conditioning systems by removing heat from homes. As heat passes over the evaporator coil, it is absorbed by the refrigerant and transferred to the outside condenser unit where it is released outside. The refrigerant continues to cycle until the temperature you’ve set in your home is met.
The process of heating homes in the winter is what sets heat pumps apart from traditional heating systems such as gas furnaces. Instead of using a fuel source such as gas or oil, the heat pump reverses the refrigeration cycle to absorb heat from the outside air and transfers it inside. Even when temperatures are cold, there is still sufficient enough heat energy to properly heat homes.
It’s important to note that in the winter, heat pumps don’t operate as efficiently once temperatures dip below freezing. Homeowners often have electric heat strips or gas furnaces installed as backup heating systems.
Heat pumps are a popular choice among Burlington, KY, residents because they provide both heating and cooling, are relatively quiet, and are extremely effective at heating and cooling homes. They also require less maintenance and are more environmentally friendly than combustion heating systems.
How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?
Because heat pumps are often relied on year-round, they don’t typically last quite as long as furnaces and air conditioners. Their average lifespan is about 10 to 15 years.
How often your heat pump is used and whether it received regular maintenance are the two most important factors in determining the lifespan of a heat pump. Heat pumps should receive proper maintenance twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall.
During a maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will inspect and clean system components. They will also look for any minor issues and address them before they grow into bigger, more expensive repairs down the road.
Remember, providing regular maintenance for your heat pump will increase the heat pump’s longevity and keep it operating smoothly for years to come.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Heat pump
If you already own a heat pump that’s between 10 and 15 years old, and you’re not quite sure whether to replace it now to avoid a sudden breakdown, there are a few signs to look out for that indicate it might be time to upgrade.
Rising Energy Bills
Are your energy bills suddenly skyrocketing without any corresponding weather event? As heat pumps age and become less effective, it takes them longer to heat or cool your home. This causes the system to stay on longer, leading to an increase in heating and cooling costs.
If you’re having to frequently repair your heat pump, and the system is already over 10 years old, it makes more sense to put the repair money toward a new system.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
Aside from heating and cooling your home, heat pumps also are tasked with removing moisture from the air to keep humidity levels balanced. If the air in your home is stuffy, your heat pump isn’t effectively doing its job. An increase in moisture can lead to mold and mildew.
Aside from the sound of your HVAC system starting or ending a cycle, they are relatively quiet. So any strange noises such as squealing, humming, or grinding are signs for concern and should be checked out right away. Your heat pump could have a loose or broken part, or the entire system may be malfunctioning.
Other issues that indicate your heat pump system might be on its last legs include uneven temperatures across your home, cold air blowing through vents when the heat is on, and a tripped circuit breaker every time the heat pump turns on.
Contact Poston Brothers for Quality Heat Pump Services
The heating and cooling professionals at Poston Brothers are expertly trained when it comes to heat pumps. Our technicians can provide excellent tune-up, repair, or installation services for your heat pump system. For more information, or to request an appointment, contact Poston Brothers online or call us today.