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Ask Joseph Barcus Your Own Question
Joseph Barcus
Joseph Barcus, Handyman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 38
Experience:  worked on things like this for years
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heat pump

Customer Question

how a heat pump works. The advantages or disavantages of using it for a heat source in a mobile home.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Kwise replied 11 years ago.
Can you let me know what state you live in. As heatpumps are great in locations and not so great in others.
Expert:  Kwise replied 11 years ago.
Heat Pumps in general are good systems depending on where you live.

They are usually economical to install and can be usee in more diversed places.

The comparison to any other alternative would be it is LOTS better & Cheaper then electric heat.

You don't have to depend on Natural Gas and the rates.

Disadvantages are you need to maintain it on a regular basis, Should be twice a year, right before winter and right before summer. (However all systems should really be maintained.)

If you lose power you will be withou Heat or cooling. (However all HVAC is dependent on electricity in general.

The company installing it should not oversize or undersize your Heatpump. I have seen companies oversize and the customer pays for that in install and through out the years because it can cause the unit to cycle.

Undersized will cause the unit to run continuously.

I do HVAC and I would put a Heatpump in my own home rather then electric or natural gas.

If you currently have natural gas Furnace a cheaper way would be to install a split system in your current gas furnace.

Split system is the same as a heatpump but you can use your furnace as well and a coil would just be installed in the duct work then piped outside to your condensing unit
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Kwise's Post: I live in Fla.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Wanted to know how they work. The mechanics of it.
Expert:  Kwise replied 11 years ago.
Ok the mechanics of it is this.
Heatpump consists of a Evaporative Coil and a Condensor Coil, refrigeration piping, refrigerant and Compressor, a metering device. Typically at least one fan. And a reversing Valve which directs which direction the refrigerant will flow.
You have a indoor coil and an outdoor coil. The coils are connected with copper tube.

Then you have a refrigerant that flows from the outside coil to the inside coil and transfers heat.

When it is cooling the coil actually pulls heat out of the air through heat transfer causing the refrigerant to boil off into a gas. then this gas goes through the copper tubing to a compressor and is compressed into High Pressure, Higher Temperature Gas, Then it goes into you Outdoor coil where a fan and or outside air runs over the coil and removes the excess heat until the refrigerant condenses from a gas to a saturated liquid. Then it goes through the metering device where it is restricted. This restriction lowers the Pressure which in turn lowers the temperature. Then the cycles starts all over again.

In heating mode a reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant and it does the same as above but in reverse.
I believe I answered pros and cons now is the how.
The refrigeration cycle can be lots more complicated then that but that is the basic refrigeration system.
Expert:  Kwise replied 11 years ago.
Heat pumps would work fine in Florida.
Expert:  Joseph Barcus replied 11 years ago.
heres my 2 cents worth, I used to think bad of heat pumps, because I was in homes where they didnt seem to work, come to find out the people had to low of "seer" units installed. I am a hvac repairman, and what Im going to say is from my true experence.
I live in the middle of west virginia where thw winters are cold. well I bought me a "12 seer" heat pump for my house, and I have had it now for 4 years. please note most heat pumps require a second heat source mainly electric strip that in the long & short run cost you alot to run.
In my case I have heat pump only so second backup. and my budget is only 140.00 year round for heat & cool. plus im total electric anyways.
so my point is dont ever buy a 10 seer unit. by 12 or better. and you will love your heat pump. second dont let just anyone talk you into a unit too small. this may seem a little high to some hvac people but my rule of thumb is for every 400 sq ft figure 1 ton of refrigeration. hope I helped and good luck