When it comes to choosing a home heating system, you'll have an array of options to choose from. One possibility, reverse-cycle heating, provides a range of benefits. Read on to find out how this heating works and what the benefits are.
How Reverse-Cycle Systems Heat Your Home
Some heating methods, such as a gas furnace, burn fuel to generate heat; they then disperse the generated warmth throughout the home through a duct network or in various other ways. Working differently, a reverse-cycle heating system moves warmth from one place to another rather than creating heat through combustion. It takes advantage of solar energy in the air (and within the ground in geothermal systems). Even on cold days, the outside air does hold some heat; this does depend on the local climate, however.
A split system reverse-cycle system has an indoor unit with an evaporator and condenser and an outdoor unit that holds the compressor. A closed system of looping coils is full of refrigerant that travels in circuits between the two. As the coolant moves through the outdoors unit, it extracts heat from the air; thus, heat shifts from the air to the refrigerant, which subsequently travels to the indoor component.
Within your home, the system sucks air into vents underneath and blows it across the pipes of warmed coolant. This warms the air before it flows back into the room. (A heating element on the indoors units sometimes helps to warm the air also.) The process continues in an endless loop as the refrigerant travels outside again to pick up more warmth to release inside.
Benefits Of Reverse-Cycle Systems
Because these systems mainly use energy to pump the refrigerant around the coils rather than to generate heat, they're relatively efficient compared to other electrical heating methods. Not burning fuel, you don't have to worry about leaks and the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, either.
Another advantage is that they take care of both heating and cooling needs. (In summer, the cycle reverses, and the coolant moves heat from inside your home to outdoors.) Thus, you only need to monitor energy usage for one system rather than two. Additionally, you don't need to double up on maintenance and repair costs.
Vents, heaters and appliances can clutter up a room, especially with two separate systems. Using a reverse-cycle system, you can minimise indoor components, helping you to preserve space and your decor.
One caveat is to check with your heating installations contractor about the minimum outside operating temperatures to ensure this heating option is viable. Even though they work in cold conditions, once it's too chilly outside, efficiency declines.
For more information or to schedule a heating installation, contact an HVAC contractor.