Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

Central ACs vs. Heat Pumps: What’s the Difference?

Monday, June 11th, 2018

question-markAre you replacing an old air conditioning system? Are you ready to invest in a new air conditioner for a brand new home under construction? Whatever the case may be, it’s definitely going to be in your best interest to explore your air conditioning options thoroughly. You really don’t want to wind up missing out on a great AC system for your personal needs and user preferences just because you didn’t realize that the option was there.

While the split central air conditioner certainly has a lot to recommend its use—it remains the most popular of all home cooling systems for a reason, after all—it is not the only option out there. You don’t need to stick with what you’ve always used just because it’s what you’ve always used. You should consider every option available to you, and that includes the heat pump. The heat pump and central AC actually share a lot in common—with one very big difference!

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Why Your Heat Pump Is Becoming Expensive to Run

Monday, February 10th, 2014

In Florida, we’re moving into the time of year when we’ll ease out of using our heaters and start to activate our air conditioners. If you have a heat pump installed in your home, this is a simple switch to make: you only need to change the heat pump from “heating” to “cooling” mode on your thermostat.

In these waning days of colder temperatures, you still need to keep up with heat pump repairs. Don’t let important heating repairs in Melbourne, FL go neglected, since the heat pump’s cooling mode operates on the same principle as the heating mode; trouble with one likely means trouble with the other.

One of the common warning signs is a heat pump that is costing more than you think it should while in heating mode. If you have inordinately high heating bills that you can’t explain, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. We offer 24/7 emergency service for your convenience.

Reasons for elevated heat pump operation costs

  • Dirt contamination inside the cabinet: Your heat pump needs smoothly working motors to perform at its best. These motors run the compressors and the fans, vital parts of the heat pump’s operation. If dust begins to enter the cabinet because of a clogged air filter, it will increase friction on the motors and make them harder to run. This will place an extra drain on your power.
  • Refrigerant leaks: The refrigerant that cycles through your heat pump stays at a fixed amount (called its “charge”) that does not dissipate during condensation and evaporation. However, the refrigerant charge will drop if leaks occur along the coils or in the compressor. During heating mode, this will lead to icing along the outdoor coil and a drop in the heat pump’s ability to absorb outside heat. Since both leaks and outdoor icing are difficult to notice, the first warning sign this is happening is often a spike in heating bills.
  • Lack of regular maintenance: The many components of a heat pump require routine checks, cleanings, and adjustments. You should have a yearly visit from a technician to examine your heat pump to check if any faults are developing that will cause it to work inefficiently. If you’ve neglected regular maintenance, your heat pump will begin to drain power as it runs down. It’s never too late to start with maintenance, however! Contact a reputable HVAC company and schedule a visit.

Whether you need maintenance or heating repair in Melbourne, FL, you can count on the services of Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. to help you with a heat pump that’s costing extra money to run. Call today to ask about our Priority Savings Club and its maintenance plan.

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Why Maintenance for Your Heat Pump Is Essential

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Heat pumps represent a sound investment in your Rockledge, FL home, and let you keep your household comfortable without spending more than you need to. They make particular sense in Florida, with its long summers and warm winters (which ensure that the heat pump functions as effectively as it can). Regular maintenance visits from a trained professional are an important part of that process. Here’s why maintenance for your heat pump is essential to keeping the efficiency and savings that you’ve come to expect.

A tune-up is important because it corrects a lot of little problems before they become bigger problems. Some of the tasks your tech will do include such little as tightening loose parts so they don’t rattle in their housings; cleaning dust off of key components and changing the air filter if necessary; measuring refrigerant levels and recharging them if they are low; and running the heat pump for 15-20 minutes to watch for any potential problems. In the event something more serious crops up, you then have the time and the luxury of scheduling a repair visit according to your schedule, rather than scrambling to do it after a full breakdown. Not only does that help you get a jump on potential repairs before they get out of hand, but it helps your heat pump function as efficiently as it can. That means saving money on monthly energy bills — one of the big advantages of a heat pump over other types of heater – as well as reducing the chance of a serious breakdown and extending the life of your equipment in the process.

Since you run your heat pump all year round, you should schedule maintenance for your unit twice a year, once before heating season and once before AC season. Call Next Generation Air & Heat Inc.  today and make sure your heat pump in Rockledge is running as well as it possibly can!

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Heat Pumps and Setback Temperatures

Monday, January 13th, 2014

It’s the time of the year when heat pumps switch over to “heating mode,” most likely to remain there for the next few months, with a few breaks during warmer temperatures (and maybe even a few trips over to “cooling” mode—one of the great benefits of living in Florida). People want to get the most efficient heat from their heat pumps as possible, but this leads them to wonder how long they should leave the heat pump running and at what level on the thermostat they should set it. Is it better to run the heat pump at a steady temperature all day, even when you’re away from home, or to do a temperature setback and then ramp up the heat pump when you return?

The answer depends on your own comfort level and your thermostat. We’ll look at some options for the optimal heating in Melbourne, FL from your heat pump. For more help, or for heat pump repairs and maintenance, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc.

The important thing for maintaining efficiency with your heat pump is to use the electric resistance coils as little as possible. So, if you  turn your heat pump to too low a temperature during the day when you are not home, your heat pump might need to use the electric resistance coils to bring you house back up to a comfortable temperature later. Some more sophisticated thermostats specifically designed to work with heat pumps can automatically adjust to keep the temperature within the range where that is not necessary, which can save energy. You should talk with your contractor about the specifics of your system, but in general, we do no recommend a setback temperature of more than 5 degrees with a heat pump in heating mode.

If you have an older digital thermostat, or even an old manual one, we recommend you upgrade: you’ll receive better control over your indoor comfort, and improved energy savings. Contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. to talk about upgrades to your heating in Melbourne, FL today.

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What Is My Best Option: Heat Pump or Furnace?

Monday, January 6th, 2014

The heating season in Florida, the time of year when we shut off our air conditioners and switch to our heaters, is much shorter than it is for much of the rest of the country. However, we still need our heaters to work for us on those cold days and nights that can strike during the season. You want the best heating you can for your home… but what is the best heating system?

The choice often comes down to a furnace or a heat pump. We’ll break down these two options for you so you’ll have a better idea what is right for your Melbourne, FL home. However, nothing will help you make the decision more than the expert advice of the staff at Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. Not only will we help you choose the best heating system for you, but we’ll also provide excellent heating installation service.

Furnace vs. Heat Pump

Furnaces: The main advantage that furnaces have is their flexibility. There are furnace models for different types of fuel source (electricity, gas, propane) and for any size of house. Furnaces provide a high level of heating for any kind of weather, and the gas models are particularly energy-efficient. A specific advantage of the natural gas furnace that can mean a lot in Florida is that they can still provide heat even if the power goes out; this is a great assurance during the stormy season.

Heat Pumps: The big attraction of heat pumps is that they solve two problems at once, since they function as both air conditioners and heaters, eliminating the need to have a separate air conditioner. Heat pumps use only small amounts of electricity to provide heat (and they don’t burn fuel to create heat, the instead move heat from one place to another). The only drawback for heat pumps is that they struggle with extremely low temperatures… but this is rarely a problem for homes in Florida.

How to Decide

Although one of the above options may sound like the right one for you, every home is different and has specific requirements for heating it. To make sure you get the best option, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. to help you with installation from the beginning. Our heating specialists will figure out how best to heat your home and the right sized heater to do it. Whether you need a furnace or a heat pump in Melbourne, FL you can trust that we’ll find the right one for you.

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How Does the Auxiliary Heat on My Heat Pump Work?

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Having a heat pump in Cocoa Beach is one of the best solutions for beating the hot Florida weather and fending off its occasional cold spells. A heat pump delivers you an air conditioner and a heater in one unit. People in colder northern climates usually need to have a hybrid system work with their heat pump so they can get enough warmth during the deep chills; but for our Florida climates, a heat pump on its own can handle the job—in particular if it comes with the auxiliary heating option.

For installation, repairs, and maintenance on your heat pump, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc.. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You might be curious about what auxiliary heat on a heat pump does and if it’s worth having. Basically, the auxiliary heat function provides additional warmth when the heat from the standard heat exchange is insufficient. These heat pumps have an extra section that contains electrical heating coils—similar to what you would find in an electric furnace—to create resistance electrical heating. When the heat pump senses it cannot get enough warmth from the outside air to move inside your home (usually at temperatures below 35°F), it will switch over to the electrical coils to provide the additional heat. Although this will allow the heat pump to reach its target temperature, it will drain additional power to heat the electrical coils.

Whether you need a heat pump with the auxiliary heat feature depends on how much cold you think you’ll experience. Heat pumps draw warmth from outside to give you a comfortable temperature, but this becomes difficult in extreme colds. Hybrid systems work best for states with harsh winters, but for Florida you can keep your home comfortable with a heat pump with auxiliary heat.

Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. can provide you the advice you need to help you with your decision. We can also handle installation, maintenance, and repairs for the top brands of heat pumps. For a heat pump in Cocoa Beach, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. today.

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Can I Trust My Comfort to a Heat Pump?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Heat pumps are an alternative to more traditional heating and air conditioning systems, where you can use the same unit for a heater and an air conditioner. But is using the same system for both heating and air conditioning effective? The truth is that they make a lot of sense, especially here in Florida where conditions are ideal for their use.

A heat pump uses the same closed loop refrigerant system that an air conditioning relies on. Refrigerant gas passes through a compressor, which subjects it to an intense amount of pressure, which raises the temperature. The pressurized gas then moves into a series of condenser coils. The coils release the heat into the outside air, leaving the refrigerant in a liquid form (though still under a lot of pressure). From there, the liquid moves through and expansion valve, which releases a set amount into a series of evaporator coils. As the liquid evaporates, it cools the surrounding air, which is then blown into your home with a fan.

That’s how it works with a standard air conditioner. The heat pump uses the same basic system, only this time, the process can be reversed in the wintertime, where the coils outside your home serve as evaporator coils, asborbing heat from the outdoor air, and the coils inside release the heat into your home. That gives the heat pump a huge amount of versatility, and they use less energy than heating your home with electric heat.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pumps work best in climates where the temperature rarely drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes Florida the perfect place to use them: handling our hot days without trouble, and providing heat to keep us comfortable during our mild winters. If you’ve decided you can trust your comfort to a heat pump in Melbourne, FL, contact Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. for reliable installation and repair service.

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Heat Pump Guide: Heat Pumps and Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Heat pumps are an incredibly efficient way to heat and cool your home in Melbourne, FL. Instead of creating heat by burning a fuel source, as is the case with a gas-fired furnace, heat pumps simply move heat from one place to another. The heat pumps move heat using a refrigerant that is pumped through a series of coils. That refrigerant can be potentially harmful to the environment. But in recent years, there have been technological developments with the refrigerant that makes it more friendly to the environment. Here is some information about that new refrigerant.

How Heat Pumps Use Refrigerants

Refrigerant liquids are very sensitive to heat and have a low boiling point. It is this property that allows them to absorb and release heat very quickly. That property makes it ideal for systems that need to transport heat: like your car’s radiator and a heat pump. Your heat pump circulates the refrigerant between two sets of evaporator coils: one set inside your home and the other outside in the condensing unit.

Old Refrigerant

The old refrigerant that has been used in air conditioning units and heat pumps was called R22. The brand name for R22 was Freon, and it was commonly used for many years.  However, due to its high ozone depletion potential, it was phased out in the United States and Canada. There are still systems in existence that use R22, however manufacturers are no longer allowed to produce systems that use R22.

The New Refrigerant

A new refrigerant, called R-410A, do not contain chlorine, as was the case with R22, and thus do not contribute to ozone depletion. This new type of refrigerant is used in most new heat pumps and can be serviced by your local Melbourne heating contractor.

If you have a heat pump at your Melbourne home and would like to get it serviced, contact the experts at Next Generation. Our trained technicians have experience working with all types and brands of heat pumps. Give us a call today.

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Common Heat Pump Problems

Monday, August 27th, 2012

More and more people in Melbourne are utilizing heat pumps to both heat and cool their home. While heat pumps are pretty reliable devices, they need to have regular maintenance and occasional repairs to keep running at optimum efficiency. Here are some common problems that you might run into with your heat pump and what to do about them:

  • Not Heating or Cooling: If your heat pump stops working entirely, it could be a problem with the power supply. Make sure your heat pump hasn’t tripped the breaker or blown a fuse. Note: if your heat pump frequently trips the breaker, you should call for a repair immediately as it is an sign of a serious electrical problem.
  • Very Noisy: Heat pumps usually run pretty quietly, so if your heat pump is making a lot of noise, it’s a clear indicator of a problem. Causes of noise are loose screws, nuts, bolts or fittings. Your contractor can tighten these fittings as a part of your annual maintenance inspection.
  • Not Maintaining the Temperature: If your heat pump is running but not keeping your home comfortable, it might be a sensor problem. This can occur either in the heat pump itself or in your home’s thermostat. However, if there are very cold temperatures outside, your heat pump might be simply unable to heat your home enough. Most heat pumps function best when the temperature is above freezing. A backup heater will help take care of this problem.
  • Frozen: A frozen heat pump is usually caused by restricted air flow. For instance, a dirty filter will impede air flow and cause ice to form on your device. Changing air filters regularly will help prevent this problem, but if icing occurs regularly, call a contractor to examine your heat pump for other possible causes.

These are just a few of the more common heat pump problems, but they are the issues you will run into most frequently. As long as they are maintained, most heat pumps will work reliably for many years. If you have any problems with your heat pump, call the Melbourne heat pump experts at Next Generation Air & Heat!

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AC Tip: Heat Pump Air Duct Requirements

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Heat Pump Technology

Growing in popularity today in Rockledge are heat pumps, devices that transfers thermal energy from one location to another, usually in the direction of from a colder temperature to higher and generally the opposite of the natural flow.  While compressor-driven air conditioners and freezers are technically heat pumps, “heat pump” is the term that usually implies one of the less-common devices in the class that are not dedicated to refrigeration-only.

A heat pump that maintains a thermally conditioned-space can be used to provide either heating or cooling, depending upon whether the environment is cooler or warmer than the conditioned-space.  Typically pumps utilize some thermal energy from the environment itself, such as the natural heat beneath the Earth’s surface.

By simply transferring the energy rather than producing it, heat pumps are being more seriously considered as attractive alternatives to provide an efficient and clean system for conditioning public and living spaces.

Change of Use

In considering a change from an existing system to a heat pump, there are many details to compare to see if it makes any sense at all.

Since a heat pump typically moves conditioned air through ductwork, the advantages of the change are much more realistic with a system of pre-existing ducts such as a forced air furnace or central air-conditioning unit.  While a heat pump often requires a larger volume of ducts, the old network of metal tunnels was often over-sized for inefficient furnaces and should do fine in a conversion to a heat pump.

The Right Data

Since the required formulas are dependent upon variables such as size, distance, volume and oomph, the design is strategic and makes all the difference.  Consulting with a trained and experienced Rockledge AC professional such as Next Generation Air & Heat is critical to the success of the conversion.

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