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Are Heat Pumps Effective in Arizona?

When thinking about Arizona’s climate, most people think of the exceptionally hot summers that characterize most of the state. However, these hot summers translate into mild winters, meaning that you have a choice when it comes to heating your Tucson home on the colder nights. One option that many Arizona homeowners turn to is a heat pump. Understanding whether a heat pump is really the best option for your home is the subject of this guide from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

What Is a Heat Pump?

If your home has an air conditioner, you already have the basic components of a heat pump. That’s because a heat pump from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing consists of an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor evaporator coil, just like an air conditioner. Unlike an air conditioner, though, a heat pump has the ability to reverse the flow of the refrigerant that is used to move heat from one place to another. It does this by using something called a reversing valve.

In the summer, the reversing valve allows hot refrigerant from inside your home to go through the condenser, where the heat is removed before the refrigerant heads back inside your home. This allows the refrigerant to absorb heat as it evaporates in the evaporator coil after going through the expansion valve.

In the winter, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant so that the outdoor condenser can serve as an evaporator coil. While the refrigerant flows through the condenser, it collects heat from the surrounding air that is then sent inside your home. As the blower fan blows over the warm refrigerant, the heat is sent throughout your home, thus raising your home’s temperature.

Why Do Heat Pumps Work Better in Mild Climates?

When it comes to moving heat from outside your home to your home’s interior, a milder climate makes things easier for your heat pump. The good news, though, is that a heat pump from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is quite effective at absorbing heat even when the air is cold. This means that you can enjoy efficient home heating on nights when the temperature dips lower than usual.

Overall, though, a heat pump is one of the best options for heating a home in Arizona because there is typically abundant heat throughout the winter. This means that your heat pump typically won’t have to use the auxiliary heat strip to heat your home. Thus, you can experience home comfort that is equal to what you would achieve with a furnace for a fraction of the cost.

Different Types of Heat Pumps

As you begin to consider a heat pump from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for your home, you should know that there are various types of heat pumps to consider. In addition to the air-source heat pumps that we have discussed so far, there is another category of heat pumps, called ground-source heat pumps, that provide even more advantages in terms of efficiency and longevity.

In a ground-source heat pump, the refrigerant line goes underground instead of being housed in a unit located next to your home. Since soil is less prone to sudden temperature changes, there is typically more heat available to draw from, even when it’s cold above the surface of the ground. This makes it even less likely that you would need to use auxiliary heating, making a geothermal system an ideal solution. The best part of all, though, is that a ground-source heat pump can also be used to cool your home, meaning that you can endure the hot Arizona summers without having to worry about a sky-high utility bill.

Life Expectancy of a Heat Pump

A typical air-source heat pump from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has a life expectancy of about 15 years. Of course, the brand of heat pump that you choose, the quality of installation, and the frequency of maintenance all play big roles in the lifespan of your heat pump. If everything goes right, you may get 20 years or more out of your heat pump, meaning that installing a new heat pump is truly a worthwhile investment.

If you decide to install a ground-source heat pump, you can expect to get, at minimum, 25 years out of the indoor equipment. This is largely because a ground-source heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard to pull heat from the source into your home. Even better is that the refrigerant lines that run underground usually last for 50 years or more. Compared to the lifespan of a typical furnace, this is pretty spectacular.

How to Make the Most of Your Heat Pump

Just like any other mechanical system in your home, there are certain steps you can take to maximize the value that a heat pump from Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can provide. One of the easiest ways to get the most from your system is to have it professionally maintained every six months. Maintenance is especially crucial in a heat pump because the system relies on refrigerant throughout the year.

Therefore, you’ll want someone who knows what they’re doing to check your refrigerant levels to ensure that you don’t have a leak that’s reducing your system’s efficiency. Keeping your air filter clean so that your system has an adequate air supply is also of vital importance.

Since a heat pump system is more efficient than a typical AC/Heat system, you may be tempted to operate it more frequently. However, the excess operation will lead to more wear and tear. Therefore, it’s important to utilize a programmable thermostat so that you can maintain a constant temperature in your home instead of changing it up constantly simply because you can.

Take Your Home’s Efficiency to the Next Level

There’s one more advantage of a heat pump that we haven’t discussed yet. Since a heat pump can heat and cool your home with increased efficiency, your home’s overall energy usage will decrease. If you’ve been thinking about switching to solar power to take advantage of the abundant Arizona sunshine, a heat pump makes this option much more viable.

By reducing your home’s overall energy usage, you may be able to supply all of your energy needs with the solar array that you install on your property. This allows you to reduce your reliance on the local utility company and save a significant amount of money over the life of the solar panels.

Taking Care of Your Home’s Comfort

No matter which comfort solution you choose for your home, the pros at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing will install and maintain it with pride. We can take care of installing and maintaining heat pumps, air conditioners, furnaces, and more. We also offer duct repair, duct cleaning, plumbing repair, water heater installation, leak detection, and more. Serving the area for over 60 years, Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is proud to have been chosen as an Arizona Star Reader’s Choice Favorite. We also frequently receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about the benefits of heat pumps, contact us at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today.