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Home Comfort at its BestThe Trane Heat Pump

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is essentially a central air conditioning system that also has the ability to heat your home during cold weather months.

It's called a "heat pump" because it pumps heat into your home in winter, and pumps heat out of your home in summer. Its ability to both heat and cool makes it a very economical and efficient home comfort system.

How do they work?

Ever since their introduction in the late fifties, heat pumps seem to be a mystery to most people, even those who own them. The main question seems to be - How can they be a furnace and an air conditioner?

Think of the way your refrigerator removes unwanted heat that accumulates when you open the door and place warm food inside. You can feel that heat coming back into your kitchen from the refrigerator's exhaust fan.

A heat pump works similarly. In summer, it functions exactly like a standard central air conditioning system, pulling the heat out of your home and releasing it outside.

In winter, it simply reverses the process, extracting the heat that's present in outdoor air and pumping it into your home to keep you warm and comfortable. As strange as it may seem, heat is present in all air, even air that's well below freezing.

What do they look like?

A typical heat pump installation consists of two parts: an outdoor unit that contains the outdoor coil, compressor, reversing valve, and fan; and an indoor unit that contains the indoor coil, supplemental heater and fan.
The outdoor unit looks exactly like a central air conditioner in both size and appearance. The indoor unit is called an air handler and looks similar to a gas furnace.

Where is the furnace?

There isn't any. The heat pumps takes its place. Because a heat pump simply moves heat from one place to another, there is no burning of fuel to make heat, no smoke and no fumes.

But you mentioned a supplemental heater.

Heat naturally migrates from warmer to colder areas through windows, doors, ceilings and walls. Insulation, weather-stripping and caulk slow down this heat loss, but cannot totally eliminate it. The colder it becomes, the faster a home loses heat.

The supplemental heater helps the heat pump during weather extremes when a home may lose heat faster than the heat pump can replace it. Electric heating elements in the indoor unit turn on automatically to make up the difference.

And you say they're more economical to operate?

Yes, because during much of the heating season, a heat pump simply has to move heat instead of making it. Unlike a furnace that must turn fossil fuel or electricity into heat, the heat pump simply collects heat that already exists in the outdoor air and pumps it into your home.

Well, mine is an older home. Aren't heat pumps only for new homes?

Not at all! If you already have a forced-air heating system, suitable ductwork and adequate insulation an add on heat pump can solve those high heating bills. Heat pumps can work with any forced air heating system ... gas, oil, propane or electric.

How can I learn more about heat pumps?

To access the official Trane Comfort Specialist Web Site, follow the link button below.

You can also call Ables, Inc. locally at 439-2186 , toll free at 1-800-922-2537 or Fax us at 740-439-2158. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have concerning heat pumps, or any other home comfort needs.

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