Heating and air conditioning are essential for creating a comfortable and healthy indoor climate for people living in climate zones that experience significant changes in average monthly temperatures throughout the year.
When it gets hot, air conditioning helps to cool building interiors by removing heat from the air inside the building. And, when the cold months arrive, heating systems help to keep the building warm and cosy.
While you can install two separate units for your home heating and cooling needs, you might want an all-in-one solution for year-round comfort and bliss. Reversible heat pumps, also referred to as reverse-cycle air conditioners, can serve this dual purpose well.
Read along to learn how they work and their advantages and disadvantages.
How Reversible Heat Pumps Work
Unlike a traditional heat pump, which produces heating-only output, a reversible model doubles as an air conditioning unit when the hot season starts. In other words, it is an all-rounded solution to home heating and cooling needs.
The primary factor that differentiates reversible heat pumps from conventional ones is the use of reverse-cycle technology, which reverses the refrigeration cycle to allow heat pumps to run in both heating and cooling mode.
In cold weather, a reversible heat pump will pull heat from the air outside your home and distribute it inside to provide warmth. On hot days, it will do the opposite — draw heat from the air inside the home and dissipate it to the outdoor environment, then return cool air to the interior space.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Reversible Heat Pumps?
Like other home heating and cooling solutions, reversible heat pumps have their benefits and drawbacks.
The benefits of reversible heat pumps include the following:
- Two-in-one solution for home heating and cooling – These heat pumps double as air conditioners, providing both heating and cooling output.
- Lower operating costs – Heat pumps are generally cheaper to run than home heating and cooling systems that use natural gas, propane, heating oil, and other fossil fuels to provide thermal comfort.
- Increased environmental safety – Since heat pumps run on electricity, they do not produce the carbon emissions associated with systems based on fossil fuel combustion. As a result, they are a safer choice for the environment.
Although reversible heat pumps are an excellent choice for homes, they only work well in places that experience mild winters. Unlike heating systems that generate heat directly, a heat pump uses the warmth in the outdoor air to heat your home interiors.
Contact a home heating and cooling contractor for more information about your home heating and cooling options, or for a quote.