Heat pumps are used for both single and split systems. Single systems use the heat pump to warm the air in the home during the cold winter months. Split systems have the ability to reverse the system to air condition the home by providing cooling during the warm months of the year.

Single System

A standard single system uses a heat pump, refrigerant, compressor and two coils (interior and exterior), to heat the home. The outside coil absorbs warmth from the cool or cold air outdoors and stores it in the refrigerant. By compressing the refrigerant, the heat is intensified before sending it to the interior coil. The inside coil then transfers the warmth into the home.

Split System

Split systems provide both heating and cooling. Operating like a single system, the valves reverse the flow of heat, absorbing warmth from the interior the home and discarding it outdoors.

This highly efficient method of heating and cooling your home, works well in extreme temperatures. In regions of the country where the winter months drop below 36° (known as the heat pump balancing point) the system uses a secondary heat source to generate additional warmth for the home. Secondary heat can be generated using a gas/propane/oil furnace, or a heater coil (electric resistance heat) to keep the home comfortable during the coldest days of the year.

Reducing Operating Cost

Some homes use two heating systems, also referred to as a two-stage (hybrid) heating system. These designs are crafted to reduce operating costs. The efficiency of a single or split system is ranked using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER number, the less energy is required to run the system to heat the home.

Extending Its Life Span

The lifespan of a heat pump/air conditioner is approximately 12 to 15 years if the unit has been installed properly and well maintained. Newer models are designed to last even longer. For the best efficiency, the heat pump requires annual schedule maintenance by a certified technician. They will check refrigerant levels, and ensure that the interior and exterior coils are free of dirt, grime and particles.

Reducing Utility Bills

You can reduce your utility bills by installing a programmable thermostat and make sure the ductwork is properly sealed and insulated. To increase efficiency, keep the thermostat set to an energy-saving temperature. When going away on vacation or long weekend, set the thermostat to "hold". For optimal efficiency, have your heat pump equipment maintain on a regular basis.