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Heat Pumps in Mobile AL – What You Should Know About Efficiency Terms and Components

Published on: June 8, 2012

In areas with potentially extreme weather conditions such as Mobile, AL and the rest of the southern United States, you must be sure that your heat pumps are constantly working within your air conditioning system. If they are not ready for the high standard of air conditioning that is required for volatile weather conditions, you can easily find yourself on the short end of expensive heat pumps and AC repairs, just to stay comfortable in your own home.

The way to avoid this type of expensive expenditure is to make sure that your heat pumps and your air conditioning system are up to code, and that they are routinely receiving maintenance to keep up with the current weather conditions.

However, when you have a technician performing a service on your air conditioning unit or heat pumps, you need to be able to communicate with that person on a certain level in order to make sure that you’re receiving the right kind of attention. There are not many Federal regulations overseeing the efficiency of heat pumps. Therefore, it is up to you to make sure that you are getting the right kind of service.

1. Make sure you know the important components of your heat pump system, which are listed below.

The compressor – The compressor in your heat pump is perhaps the most important part in it. The compressor takes the refrigerant, which is the lifeblood of the heat pump, and concentrates the energy so that is powerful enough to affect the air in your living space.

The coils – Heat pumps have two coils, one to absorb heat and the other to evaporate it. This is the first step in getting air ready for conditioning.

The expansion valve – After the compressor gives the air the energy that it needs to power through the coil system, the expansion valve will depressurize it quickly so that the air can absorb heat properly and condition your air.

The refrigerant – This is the lifeblood of the heat pump system. You must make sure that the refrigerant material remains as clean as possible.

2. Make sure that you are familiar with the various rating systems that are available for you to measure the efficiency of your system. The more efficient your system is, the less it will cost you to create conditioned air for your living space.

The SEER system – The “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” is the most widely used efficiency scale for a heat pump system. The highest rating that heat pump can receive on this scale is 20, which is the best rating. This is the system to use if you are measuring the efficiency of your heat pump system in the summertime.

The EER system – This system is a great system the use at any time during the year. It has the simplest method of calculation of any of the four systems mentioned here (BTUs of heat divided by watt – hours of electricity).

The HSPF system – The “heating seasonal performance factor” gives heating efficiency for the summer. You want to have a system with an HSPF rating of between eight and 10 for best performance.

The COP system – This system is best for comparing your efficiency in hot and cold seasons.