There are many things to know about choosing the heat pump that is right for you and your home.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about heat pumps and their installations:

Q: What is a heat pump?

A heat pump (also known as a reverse cycle air conditioner) is a multifunctional appliance that transfers heat from one location to another.  They can be used to transfer heat to the inside of your home in the winter or transfer heat to the outside in the summer.  They can also be used to dehumidify and clean the air inside your home.

Q: How does a heat pump work?

All heat pumps have a compressor, an evaporator coil, a condenser coil, and a reversing valve.  However, because of the reversing valve, the evaporator coil and the condenser coil change roles depending on the season.  On heat pump systems, the coils are simply referred to as the indoor coil and the outdoor coil.  Heat pumps use the compressor, and the principle of condensing and evaporating refrigerant, to move heat from one coil to another.  This can be accomplished in the summer by evaporating refrigerant in the indoor coil and moving it to the outdoor coil where it is expelled to the outdoors.  The reverse happens in the winter.  The reversing valve “reverses” the role of the coils and the refrigerant is evaporated in the outdoor coil.  The process of evaporating refrigerant absorbs heat.  This heat is then transferred to the indoor coil and delivered to your home.

Q: How does a heat pump get heat from the outdoors in the winter?

You have to go back to your high school physics class and remember that even when it is zero degrees outside, there is still “heat” in the air.  The temperature of the outdoor coil during the evaporation mode is cold enough that it can absorb this “heat” and transfer it into your house. So, even when the weather man says, “Below zero temperatures, stay inside today!” Your heat pump will be absorbing heat to keep you warm on the inside!

Q: Is a heat pump efficient?

Yes! Because a heat pump only has to transfer heat rather than creating it (like other heating systems), it is the most efficient means of heating your home that is available in today’s market!  A heat pump gets its efficiency because it uses only 1 unit of electricity to transfer 3 to 4 units of heat.  That means that they can run with efficiency ratings around 350%.  It is like buying oil for $1.50 per gallon (without burning fossil fuels).

Q: Is a heat pump environmentally friendly?

Yes! In addition to heat pumps being 350% efficient, and not being reliant on burning fossil fuels, they use a refrigerant known as R410A.  The EPA has selected this “Non-ozone depleting” refrigerant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  Additionally, Scott strives to select materials from manufacturers that have sound environmental practices and he will also recycle all of the waste generated during your installation.

Q: Which one is right for me?

There are many options to choose from, but not one is right for every situation.  You should always have a qualified heating professional determine which size and type is best for your home or business.

Q: Is Royal River Heat Pumps a “qualified heating professional”?

Yes!  Scott has been using his experience and training in every aspect of the HVAC industry since 1985.  He has worked on projects for homeowners that have ranged from heat pumps in 1,000 square foot, energy efficient homes, to reducing the carbon footprint of some 7,500 square foot estates.  Scott has a wide range of commercial experience that has ranged from Wayneflete School, to Bowdoin College, from Maine Medical Center, to the paper mill in Millinocket.  Scott performs load calculations (as required by code) to determine the system capacity that is right for your structure using Wrightsoft software (the best in the industry). If it is a ducted system that is best for your space, Scott will also install a custom fabricated duct system that is built, by hand, in his own sheet metal shop.

Q: How do I have Royal River Heat Pumps help me?

You can simply contact Royal River Heat Pumps by phone or email to set up an on-site survey.  Scott will arrive at your site at the agreed time and will review your needs, as well as the needs of your home or business.


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