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Posts Tagged: Heat Pumps

Ready for Winter? Stay Comfortable in Any Season

Posted On: Filed Under: Heating, Ductless heat pump, Heat pump No Comments on Ready for Winter? Stay Comfortable in Any Season

Ready For Winter? Our Overview of Heat Pumps

For many people, having a functional space heater in the winter, and a functional air conditioner in the summer is an absolute necessity. In the modern world, this kind of control over the conditions in your home is one of the most empowering aspects of modern technology. Having confidence in the warmth or coolness of your living space, at any point of the year, can give you a great deal of peace of mind. Now imagine for a moment, if you could combine the cooling powers of your air conditioner, and the warming powers of your space heater, into a single machine. This is no far-off science fiction device; it’s a heat pump

 

What is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are electrical devices, which have the ability to draw heat from one area and deposit it in another. How do they do this? Primarily, through the use of a special substance called a refrigerant, which creates the heat flow through a repetitive cycle of evaporation and condensation. To make this cycle occur, the refrigerant is pumped, via a compressor, between two heat exchanger coils.  

In the first coil, the refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs heat from its surroundings. It then flows towards the second coil, being compressed en route, and condensing at high pressure when it reaches the second coil. Here, the refrigerant releases the heat absorbed earlier in the cycle, which is how the heat pump achieves heat transfer. 

While you might not have heard of a heat pump specifically, you’ve definitely heard of some examples of them; both refrigerators and air conditioners are heat pumps. However, these both just work one way, cooling. Two-way, reversible heat pumps are also available, and these products provide the exact service we learned about in the intro: the combination of an air conditioning unit and a space heater. 

The Difference with Ductless Heat Pumps

Normally, ducted heat pumps use the already existing ducts in your home in order to spread the heated or cooled air around to different rooms. However, these are not the only option. You can also get ductless heat pumps, which spread the heated or cooled air from an outdoor compression unit, to several indoor air handling units. For example, these air handling units are the wall units often seen in hotel rooms.

The benefits of choosing a ductless heat pump include:

  • Easier, less intrusive installation process
  • Ability to create different ‘climates’ with individual thermostats
  • Heating and cooling only in the rooms you choose, to save energy and money 

How Washington Energy Services Can Help You Choose a Heat Pump

When you’re choosing a heat pump for your home, call the professionals at Washington Energy Services, for one of our famous free estimates. We will help you find the heat pump system that works best for the unique situation of your home and your budget constraints, as well as always finding the most energy-efficient solution to your home’s heating and cooling needs. Contact us today!

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Heat pumps vs. furnaces

Posted On: Filed Under: Heating, Furnace, Heat pump No Comments on Heat pumps vs. furnaces

Furnaces are the traditional means of heating buildings. These devices use fuel to generate heat and then use a fan to circulate this heat through the building. There are gas furnaces, oil furnaces and electric furnaces.

Heat pumps act as sort of a reverse air conditioner. Instead of transferring heat from inside the building to its exterior, these machines absorb heat from the air or ground outside and transfer it inside the building. Even in cold outside air, heat energy is present. This heat outside is absorbed into a refrigerant that is evaporated at a low pressure and piped inside the facility. Once inside, the refrigerant is compressed back into a liquid. This process releases the heat that is then distributed throughout the building.

Pros & Cons of A Furnace

Perhaps the chief advantage of furnace is the start-up cost. These devices are fairly simple machines that use a very well-established technology. As such, they are inexpensive to install. Also, the effectiveness of a furnace is not impacted by the weather. As long as the machine has fuel, it will have no problem in producing heat. These machines do have some drawbacks, however. Depending on local power rates and your source of fuel, they can be expensive to operate. Furnaces also produce carbon emissions that can be harmful to the environment. These machines also typically have more maintenance needs than heat pumps.

Pros & Cons of A Heat Pump

Heat pumps’ greatest advantages are their energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Heat pumps are incredibly energy efficient, requiring less energy to use than traditional furnaces. This results in less carbon emissions and lower power bills. They also do not dry out the air the way furnaces do, so property owners won’t have to purchase humidifiers to add moisture back into the air.

Heat pump devices are more expensive to install than traditional furnaces, but credits or rebates from utilities may be available to help defray the cost of installation. Heat pump devices also do not work as well at very low temperatures, as there is less heat in the air for them to absorb energy from. Washington’s climate is mild, meaning that in all but the coldest of conditions, heat pumps should work fine. In parts of the country where heat pumps don’t work as well, they are often supplemented by an electric furnace. Heat pumps that draw heat from geothermal energy in the ground are also a solution to this problem.

Whether to purchase a furnace or a heat pump is largely a question of how much property owners want to spend up front and the climate of their area. How environmentally friendly property owners want their homes and businesses to be also plays into the decision.

About Washington Energy

Washington Energy Services is a family-owned business providing home energy efficiency solutions to Seattle area clients. Founded in 1957, Washington Energy Services has generations of experience in providing heating and cooling and other energy-related services, including sales, installation and service. A member of the Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network, Washington Energy Services has an excellent local business reputation.

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Heat pumps vs. AC infographic

Posted On: Filed Under: Air conditioning, Heat pump 11 Comments on Heat pumps vs. AC infographic

seattle heat pump service

 

Heat Pump vs AC’s – An infographic by the Green Team at Washington Energy

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Words of wisdom from your heat pump

Posted On: Filed Under: Ductless heat pump, Heat pump No Comments on Words of wisdom from your heat pump

(courtesy of our Service Manager who has thumbs and can pen this)

Hello, heat pump here; did you enjoy your winter?

I have been working hard all winter, taking heat energy from outside and bringing it into your house. By the way, I have been delivering heat in the most efficient way for the PNW, saving you money on your utility bills.  To do that, I have been enduring wind, rain, sleet and even a little snow and whoa, what’s that bird leaving behind there!

I’m looking forward to providing you some air conditioning this summer too.  But to ensure that we get the winter wear behind us and are cool to cool, how about having a certified service technician come out and give me a tune-up.  Without it, I can lose up to 5% of efficiency per year and that costs more than the tune – up in the long run.

Here’s what the tech would do:

  • Remove dust, dirt and debris.
  • Test all operative parts in a 37 point diagnostic.
  • Go over my health with you.

It takes about an hour or so for a technician to tune me up.  They go through a 37 point diagnostic testing everything from the coil to the reversing valve to make sure everything is in tip top shape.  They will give you a detailed report on how I have been running and any issues that may reduce my useful life or lead to part failures.  It’s cheaper to maintain or repair than replace me.  If you could be so kind to give me a tune-up I promise to keep delivering the comfort, efficiency and reliability that you invested in!

Best,

Your Heat Pump

PS: My sister the Air Conditioner says, “me too”.

 

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