When it comes to heating in Charlottesville, we are your number one source for the latest and most efficient technology available. Recent advances in the heat pump field, particularly from American Standard, make it possible to reduce your heating and cooling costs significantly while still saving energy. Today we take a look at some of these new technological advances. But first, let’s provide a little context on modern heating and cooling systems.
Why We Need Heat Pumps
The short answer is to save money and energy, and by extension, to reduce climate change effects. Governor Ralph Northam has advanced Virginia’s transition to clean energy by signing the Virginia Clean Economy Act in April of last year. The Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act has also been amended to require that Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
One of the keys to meeting this goal in the Charlottesville area is to reduce emissions created by the power sector. This will be done by using cleaner energy methods to run transportation, heating, and cooling systems. Energy-efficient products also have a big part in reducing the amount of electricity needed by homes and businesses. Thanks to new advances in heat pump technology, this ambitious goal is achievable.
How Heat Pumps Work
Conventional heating systems, such as oil and gas furnaces, create heat by burning fuel. Electrical heaters pass electricity through a high resistance metal material to generate heat, either in a central furnace or individual baseboard heaters. Rather than burning fuel or heating metal, heat pumps extract and transfer heat from one area to another, wherever it is needed.
The heat pump consists of two major parts: a control unit installed inside your home and a condenser unit outside your home. A coolant line connects the heat pump’s control unit and condenser unit. A heat pump works by extracting heat from the air outside of your home and transferring it to a refrigeration coolant fluid. This coolant is then sent through a compressor, which significantly increases the coolant’s temperature, turning it into a heat source.
The compressed, heated fluid is then sent to the indoor unit of the heat pump. The indoor unit passes air over the heated fluid in the same way a traditional furnace would pass air over a heated material by burning fuel. A fan blows the heated air into the living space. The system can be reversed to pump heat away from your living space, cooling it down as an air conditioning unit would.
Types of Heat Pumps
There are three different types of heat pumps:
All three types extract heat from an outside environment and pump it onto your home. The air-source heat pump is the most commonly used variety. There is heat energy available even in cold air, and the heat pump extracts that energy, either from outside or inside your living space, depending on if you want heating or cooling. Because this heat transfer process requires much less energy than burning fuel, it is cost-saving and efficient. Annual electricity use is often cut in half by using a heat pump system. Dual-source heat pumps (DSHP) can draw heat from either the air or the ground, depending on which is most efficient at the time, making it much more effective than older, traditional heat pump models. This makes them suitable for both warm and cool climates.
How Heat Pumps Are Different Today
Today’s modern air-source heat pumps can function in temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Technological advances that make them more effective than their predecessors include optimized refrigerant composition and volume, improved compressor speeds and tolerances, variable-speed motors, and better insulation methods for internal ducts and tubes.
With a heat pump, your system’s efficiency rate goes up dramatically. This is because the electricity consumed is only used to power the evaporator and condenser fans, the compressor, and the pump. Because of this, heat pumps are capable of providing more than three units of heat for every unit of electricity used, resulting in an efficiency rate of 300%.
Heating customers in Charlottesville can benefit from some remarkable advances in heat pump technology. American Standard’s AccuComfort variable-capacity compressor technology is a noteworthy achievement in this field. While most compressors have either a one-stage (100%) or two-stage (70% and 100%) operation method, the Platinum 20 and Platinum 18 heat pumps from American Standard have a staggering 750 stages, ranging from 25% to 100% capacity. The compressor modulates itself up and down in .1% increments. This allows the system to run at the exact capacity needed, based on outdoor and indoor conditions. This provides optimized heating and air conditioning with precise temperature balance, based on precisely what is required at any given moment, without any wasted energy.
The Duration model compressor from American Standard gets consistently top recommendations from HVAC technicians for its durability and performance. It has the lowest failure rate in the industry and is designed specifically for heat pump applications. Its innovative Acousti-Cool technology uses the system’s refrigerant to cool the compressor’s motor windings. This allows the Duration compressor to operate at a 35% cooler temperature compared to similar units. Cooler operating temperature means longer life and lower cost. According to Consumer Reports, American Standard dominates the “fewest repairs” category among all heating and cooling equipment manufacturers.
Nexia is American Standard’s home automation system, which integrates smart home devices in one mobile app. You can control American Standard’s AccuLink thermostat control and Platinum heat pumps with the Nexia app. It also supports home security, lighting, motion sensors, electrical outlets, garage doors, and any other compatible home automation devices. For cutting edge convenience and control, Alexa will also seamlessly integrate with the Nexia system. And the AccuLink thermostat is a modern touchscreen unit with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Fitch Services Is Here to Help
If you need heating and cooling services in Charlottesville, especially if you’re considering upgrading your existing system to a modern, cost-saving, energy-efficient one, give us a call here at Fitch Services. We can help you select the right system for your particular needs and get you on the way to the best home heating and cooling that modern technology has to offer.