Air source heat pumps chase away wind chill

Air source heat pumps chase away wind chill

Winter is definitely here, and it brings the dreaded “wind chill” along with it. Wind chill is a measure of heat loss by exposed skin. It uses the wind speed and air temperature to calculate how cold a person “feels” in current weather conditions. Wind chill numbers can be shocking, but the good news is that they don’t mean a whole lot for an air source heat pump.

We use the wind chill factors to figure out how to dress, but the rate of heat loss due to wind doesn’t affect an air source heat pump. Air source heat pumps work efficiently in temperatures as low as -13°F. That’s an actual temperature – not a wind chill. When you’re planning you’re your home’s heating and cooling needs, it’s important to remember to work with air temperatures!

The average low temperature in Boston by month is as follows:
January: 23°F
February: 25°F
March: 32°F
April: 41°F
May: 50°F
June: 59°F
July: 66°F
August: 64°F
September: 57 °F
October: 46°F
November: 37°F
December: 27°F

Boston’s average low temperatures are well within the capacity of an air source heat pump. Better still, air source heat pumps can control up to eight condenser units. That means you can precisely control the heat in your home. Turn your heat up in the rooms you’re using, and turn them down in the rooms you’re not. By applying heat selectively to the rooms in your home, you can save money on your heating bill.

Air source heat pumps are safer than combustion heaters

Air source heat pumps can also eliminate the danger posed by carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into your home via faulty combustion heat equipment. Since air source heat pumps don’t rely on combustion to generate heat, they don’t have noxious emissions.

An air source heat pump uses a compressor and refrigerant lines to either generate or eliminate heat in your home. In winter, evaporator units distribute heat from the system’s refrigerant lines. In summer, the unit reverses the refrigerant flow to extract your home’s excess heat. An air source heat pump allows your investment to work year round to keep your home comfortable!

The system does not rely on ductwork, which gives it several additional advantages. First, ductwork is responsible for a significant decrease in efficiency of a standard forced-air heating system. 30% or more of the heat your forced-air furnace generates can be lost through its ductwork. Duct losses mean that the heat your furnace produces gets left in places you may not want to heat, including the walls, floors, attic and basement. It also means that you have to spend more to get adequate heat where you want it.

Second, an air source heat pump does not circulate airborne irritants like dust and mold. That’s good news for people who suffer from allergies. Ductwork can harbor dirt, dust and a wide range of irritants. By eliminating the ductwork, your home stays cleaner and the air stays fresher.

Third, eliminating the need for ducts offers some great options for people who live in homes where ducts cannot be added or extended. Historical buildings may not allow for the addition of ducted heating or cooling systems. In addition, they may feature irregular construction, which can eliminate the ability to add plumbing or ductwork.

An air source heat pump gives you excellent zone control

You may use a boiler as a primary heat system. Adding and controlling heat may prove challenging with steam and hot water heat. You may end up with excessive heat in one area of your home, and inadequate heat in others. That’s a typical problem with any type of central heating system. Adding a radiator isn’t difficult for a professional plumber, but your boiler may not have sufficient capacity to take on an additional radiator. This could pose a problem if you’re planning to add or renovate your living space. Your plans may require resizing your boiler to keep the entire space heated!

Air source heat pumps offer significant benefits when used either as a primary or supplemental heating and cooling system. If you’d like more information about air source heat pumps, please contact us at New England Ductless at (781) 995-2665 to set up a consultation.

Photo Credit: Cathy McCray, via Flickr