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These days, efficiency is the primary focus of innovation. Time and money are precious commodities, so home and business owners in Maryland are constantly on the hunt for whatever will bring greater efficiency to their lives. In the world of HVAC, efficiency has been given a name: the split system heat pump, a system that promises maximum efficiency. So how do they work?

Conventional HVAC System

The easiest way to begin understanding the inner workings of the split heat pump system is to first understand how a conventional HVAC system operates. The common HVAC system cools your home pretty similar to how a refrigerator keeps your food cold. Air generated by fans is blown across a refrigerant-filled coil, and the refrigerant is cycled through a compressor to begin the process again. Warm air absorbed by the refrigerant is sent outside your home while the cool air is circulated through your duct system.

A conventional HVAC system heats your home by blowing combustion gases generated by burners through a heat exchanger and then spread to the rest of your home through a duct system. Usually, both the heating and cooling parts of an HVAC unit are contained in the same system. Of course, there are some more technical, scientific things that happen in the whole process, but these are the basics. So what makes a heat pump different?

The Heat Pump

The heat pump system operates a little differently. Rather than using fans and burners to produce its own air, the heat pump system maximizes the air cycling principle that the HVAC system does only in part.

Heat pumps cycle air like a refrigerator, which cycles the warm air inside the refrigerator to the outside while bringing in cooler air from the outside at the same time. Heat pumps have this capability as well, but what makes them unique is their reverse function. If you want your house warm, the heat pump draws the cool air out of your house and cycles it outside while it pulls in the warm air at the same time. The cool air gets cooler and the warmer air gets warmer, and it all happens in one packaged system.

In a packaged heat pump system, the unit sits outside and air is distributed through a duct system, which is one of the main differences between a packaged and split system heat pump.

The Split System Heat Pump

Similar to a split HVAC system, the split system heat pump has indoor and outdoor components that work together. On the exterior of the home is the compressor/condenser, which maintains the optimum rate of the refrigerant’s flow as well as increases the pressure of the refrigerant gas through compression. On the interior of the home is the air handler, which cycles and distributes the air. The two split components are connected by a protected conduit.

Split system heat pumps, unlike most conventional heat pump systems, are generally ductless. This allows for one of the split system’s great advantages. Many models of these systems allow for multiple indoor air handlers to be attached to a single outdoor condenser. Each of these indoor air handlers can be programmed by individual thermostats, thus keeping individual rooms at their own specific temperature. Being able to control specific rooms saves both money and energy.

Without a duct system, the heat pump makes up for the 30% of energy often lost among the duct work. Instead, the air is distributed directly from the air handler and into the room. Without the restrictions of a duct system, air handlers can be placed anywhere from the ceiling, the floor, or even on the wall, making them much more flexible in terms of design.

The split system heat pump redefines efficiency by getting rid of the duct system necessary in packaged heat pumps and conventional HVAC systems. If you have more questions about heat pumps or would like one installed, contact Griffith Energy Services online or give us a call at 888-474-3391

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