Tag Archives: heat pumps

Heat Pumps 101: Air Source vs. Ground Source

Heat Pumps 101: Air Source vs. Ground SourceUsing a furnace to heat your home in winter can keep it cozy, but it can also lead to higher utility bills. Heat pumps provide a way to warm up homes at a lower cost. Should you go with an air-source heat pump or a ground-source one for your Peachtree City home?

Learn more about the differences between these heating systems.

Heat Source

Air-source heat pumps pull heat from the air outside your home and bring it indoors. Ground-source heat pumps take heat from the ground and move it inside your home. Both heat sources are renewable forms of energy, making them cleaner and more environmentally friendly than natural gas and other fossil fuels. Keep in mind that you might need to rely on electrical strips or a similar secondary heat source if your air-source heat pump isn’t able to warm your home, which can happen during periods of extreme cold.

Heating and Cooling

Air-source and ground-source heat pumps are both able to heat homes in winter and cool them off in summer. This means you don’t need to run and maintain a separate air conditioning system. A heat pump takes hot air from your home and moves it either outside or into the ground.

Heat Pump Installation

Air-source heat pumps tend to be easier to have installed compared to ground-source ones. You can have your air-source heat pump set up outside your home just as you would have a central air conditioning unit installed. Ground-source pumps require a more complicated installation process. These systems have pipes that need to be installed in the ground, which involves excavating part of your yard.

Heat Pump Costs

A ground-source heat pump typically costs more than an air-source heat pump due to the installation process. Both types of heating systems can save you money in the long run thanks to reduced energy bills and more efficient heating compared to gas and electric furnaces.

If you’re trying to decide between an air-source heat pump or a ground-source one for your Peachtree City home, please contact Powers Heating and Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Home Heating Systems: Pros and Cons

Home Heating Systems: Pros and ConsWhile Peachtree City’s warm climate means heating doesn’t hold quite the same priority as in colder regions, you still need something to keep you warm in cooler weather. There are several home heating systems that work well in our area, but each has its pros and cons.

Heat Pumps

These are among the most energy efficient heating systems for mild climates, so they’re perfectly suited to our area. Their efficiency comes from the fact that they move heat instead of producing heat like most systems do. In winter, they draw warmth from the air and move it into your house.

In summer, they act just like an air conditioner, pulling heat out of your house to cool it. Heat pumps are even better at controlling humidity than standard A/Cs.

Fuel-Burning Furnaces

By burning natural gas, oil or propane, these home heating systems produce heat to warm the air. The warm air is blown through a duct system out to each of your rooms. While they’re among the cheapest systems to buy, furnaces are most efficient in cold climates.

Radiant Systems

A boiler paired with radiators is the most commonly used of these systems. The boiler produces hot water or steam, which is then supplied to the radiators. An alternative system, radiant flooring, is also gaining popularity. In this system, hot water is pumped through tubing under the floors.

Because it warms people and things, not just the air, radiant heating provides a gentle, enveloping warmth many find more comfortable than the heat from ducted systems. They also don’t kick up air contaminants by moving the air, which makes them healthier for those with respiratory concerns.

Electric Resistance Systems

This group includes furnaces, storage heaters, and space heaters that run on electricity. They’re the most inefficient way to produce heat, so unless you only need heat a few weeks out of the year, a heat pump is a better choice.

 

If you could use some help choosing from among the home heating systems on the market, talk with us at Powers Heating & Air in the Peachtree City area.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

 

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How to Read and Use the EnergyGuide Label

How to Read and Use the EnergyGuide LabelAt first glance, the yellow EnergyGuide label you see on new home appliances may seem a bit confusing. The bar graph is simple enough, which indicates how an appliance’s efficiency compares to others. However, other information may not be so visually easy to decipher, such as SEER ratings or estimated energy costs. Read on to learn how to read the useful information on EnergyGuide labels and how to use the info to your advantage.

EnergyGuide Program

The EnergyGuide program was introduced back in the 1970s to help consumers easily see the energy efficiency of home appliances. Manufacturers selling appliances like air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, water heaters, and clothes washers are mandated to participate in the program by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Deciphering the Label

The following points detail the information on EnergyGuide labels from top to bottom. You’ll see that the labels are actually fairly simple to read.

  • Top left: Key appliance features and designation, such as “heat pump” and “cooling and heating,” are located here.
  • Top right: The appliance make, model, and size or capacity are located in the top right corner.
  • Middle: In the middle of the label, a rectangle box contains efficiency information, such as the estimated yearly operating cost and estimated yearly energy usage. These are based on national averages. You’ll also see a bar graph with the designated appliance’s efficiency location compared to others in the same class.
  • HVAC ratings: Under the estimated energy cost and usage information are the ratings for air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces. Just remember the higher the number rating, the greater energy efficiency the product delivers.

Lifetime Cost

So, what do you do with all this information? Your HVAC pro calculates the lifetime cost of each appliance or HVAC system you are thinking of buying. The first cost (i.e. price tag cost) is only the beginning of your new system’s investment. When you factor the energy savings of higher-efficiency units, you’ll see that it pays down the road to install superior HVAC cooling and heating systems.

For more information about the EnergyGuide label, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the EnergyGuide label and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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Has Your Heat Pump Frozen Over? Understand How That Happens

Has Your Heat Pump Frozen Over? Understand How That HappensWhen your heat pump freezes over in the middle of a chilly Peachtree City winter, you’re left with poor heating performance and lower energy efficiency. In unusually cold weather, a thin layer of frost is nothing to worry about. However, if your outdoor unit’s whole coil becomes encased in ice, you have a definite problem. Knowing what causes this to occur will help you prevent future issues.

How a Heat Pumps Develops Ice

Your heat pump’s outdoor unit pulls air over refrigerant coils inside the unit which draws warmth from the air. However, certain conditions can prevent enough warmth from flowing over the coils to keep its temperature above freezing. When this happens, the coil temperature drops below freezing and any moisture in the air passing over turns to ice.

Although heat pumps have defrost mechanisms designed to de-ice the unit automatically, at times, this mechanism can become overwhelmed and fail. If your heat pump stays iced up for two hours or longer, don’t ignore the problem.

What Causes Freezing?

Impaired airflow is one of the most common reasons a heat pump freezes over. This could be caused by a clogged filter or by a buildup of leaves and other debris on the outdoor unit. Just changing your filter or cleaning the outdoor unit can prevent further freezing. Blocked air ducts are another possibility, but removing duct blockages may require a professional HVAC technician.

Water on the heat pump can also cause freezing. A downpour of sleet or freezing rain can create ice faster than the system can defrost. Gutters leaking water onto your heat pump can cause freezing as well.

A variety of mechanical and electronic problems are also among the potential reasons a heat pump freezes over. This includes problems with the defrost mechanism’s sensor, relay or controls, a failing reversing valve, problems with the fan motor and low refrigerant levels. All of these issues require professional attention.

Whether you’re having problems with your heat pump or you just need help with maintenance, contact Powers Heating & Air in the Fayette and Coweta County area today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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The Variable-Speed Furnace: Are You up to Speed on Its Many Benefits?

The Variable-Speed Furnace: Are You up to Speed on Its Many Benefits?Innovation usually comes at financial cost, so we end up having to conduct a balancing act. Sure, the product performs better, but are the extra costs justified? Here in Georgia, our July high is around 90 degrees, while the January low regularly hits freezing. Anything that can bring our HVAC costs down is surely worth considering, which includes a variable-speed furnace. Now’s a good time to get up to speed on its many benefits.

Defining Variable Speed

The air mover, or blower, in your furnace is most likely shared by the air conditioner; it moves warmed air through the heating season, and cooled, dehumidified air in the summer. Savings made at the furnace, therefore, are year-round. Conventional air movers have only two settings, on and off. This is inefficient, comparable to a car that can only be stationary or driving at 70 mph. Not good on gas.

A variable speed furnace allows your system to match capacity with load, and savings are equally applicable to owners of heat pumps as to furnace users. When weather is a mildly cold, it supplies a gentle current of warmed air to level things out. When a cold snap hits, it can ramp up to keep your family warm. The fan speed must be matched by an increasing and decreasing supply of heat, which can be accomplished with a two-stage burner.

Inherent Savings

Less electricity will be consumed by a variable speed blower that most often runs at a slow, continuous speed, rather than frequently starting and stopping, with full-blast operation in between. Also, the ECM technology used in variable-speed furnaces is intrinsically more efficient than a traditional blower motor. In addition, components that aren’t turning off and on in an unnecessarily rapid sequence wear out less quickly, and may also need less maintenance. Further, when a home’s treated air circulates more smoothly, hot- and cold-spots are eliminated, so less fuel is burned.

If you’re contemplating an HVAC upgrade, a variable-speed furnace is well worth considering. To learn about more of its many benefits, please contact us at Powers Heating and Air to arrange a free in-home consultation. We serve all of Fayette and Coweta counties.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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