Fullmer & Sons Heating, Cooling & Fireplaces, Inc.
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What is a Heat Pump?

What is a heat pump and how can I benefit from one? A common question I get when I am out on an air conditioning estimate for a customer that is also on LP (Liquid Propane) as their fuel source for their furnace. Well, an air sourced heat pump is an air conditioner per say that can do heating and cooling.  

So how do they work?  A heat pump's refrigeration system consists of a compressor and two coils made of copper or aluminum tubing (one indoors and one outside), which are surrounded by aluminum fins to aid heat transfer. In heating mode, liquid refrigerant in the outside coils extracts heat from the air and evaporates into a gas. The indoor coils release heat from the refrigerant as it condenses back into a liquid. A reversing valve, near the compressor, can change the direction of the refrigerant flow for cooling as well as for defrosting the outdoor coils in winter.

Air-source heat pumps have been used for many years in nearly all parts of the United States, but until recently they have not been used in areas that experienced extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. However, in recent years, air-source heat pump technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions.

There are different types of heat pumps too you can get a ducted (one you would install on your furnace just like an air conditioner) and duct-less or mini-split systems they are called.  We sell Lennox and Fujitsu systems.  I personally have the XP25 the quietest and most efficient ducted heat pump you buy from Lennox.  This unit is unique in our line up for ducted units as it is a full modulating unit (65-stages) or as Lennox likes to refer to it as Precise heating because the unit acts just like a car on the highway using cruise control. It goes up and down to give your home the Precise amount of heat or cooling needed to maintain the most accurate temperature and to operate at maximum efficiency. This unit too will operate all the way down to -20*  so if you really want to cut down on your LP gas usage this is the best option for your home.

The Fujitsu mini-split heat pumps are great for zone heating - maybe that bedroom that gets too hot or cold? The bonus room above the garage that is never comfortable to be in, the basement that is always too cold or the home that has a boiler or electric baseboard heating and you can’t install a ducted system practically.  We are also getting customers that had pellets stoves replacing them with these units as they are more efficient than most ducted systems and offer you an alternative heating advantage without all the work of a pellet stove.

But how do you choose a good heat pump system?  To choose an air-source electric heat pump, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. In warmer climates, SEER is more important than HSPF. In colder climates, focus on getting the highest HSPF feasible. My XP25 for my home is a 4-ton unit and it has a SEER rating of 20 and an HSPF of 9.5.   These are important numbers when considering how efficient the units are when comparing them to other brands.  Once you have determined the efficiency look at how the units are built, are the companies that built them reputable, are they known for making high-quality products and will they be around when you do need service and stand behind their warranties?  The answer with the products we sell and our company are yes to them all that's why we sell them.  

We tend to be brutally honest with our customers so that you are treated how we would like to be treated fair and honestly.   If something isn’t right for you I would rather tell you that and lose the sale then sell you something that I know what benefit you and have you be out money and not happy. Heat pumps are exciting to sit down with our customers too and develop a strategy that is going to be the best option for your home.  So please if you want a FREE estimate or have questions don’t hesitate to give us a call or send me a message I would love to discuss a system for your home with you.

Fullmer Sons