Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

Consider a Heat Pump This Winter (They’re Pretty Awesome!)

Monday, November 4th, 2019

There are so many great heating systems on the market today, and of course, we would stick out our neck for any one of them! However, there is truly nothing that compares to the heat pump! Why? Because they’re highly efficient, effective, and have the ability to provide year-round comfort with just the flip of a switch (sounds like magic, right?)

Okay, perhaps we sound a bit overenthusiastic, but still, there are plenty of reasons to consider installing a heat pump in your home, and below, have listed some of them for you. All you’ve got to do is keep reading to find out more (oh, and of course, remember to call us for all things heat pumps in Alexandria, VA.)

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Take Advantage of the Heat Pump’s Efficiency

Monday, January 15th, 2018

temperature-just-rightWhen you live in the Washington, DC area, you are going to have to contend with very cold winter weather. There is no way that you are going to be able to live comfortably in your home throughout the winter season if you do not have a great heater installed in your residence. Of course, you don’t just want an effective performance from your home heating system. You also want the most efficient performance possible from your heater.

If you are thinking about replacing a heater, or if you need a new one installed in your brand new home, then consider using a heat pump in Washington, DC. The heat pump works in a unique way, and it offers outstanding energy efficiency as a result. Read on to learn more about how heat pumps work and the benefits that they offer. Just remember that no HVAC system will truly excel in its operation if it is not expertly installed and serviced by skilled, trained professionals. 

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Have You Considered Heating Your Home with a Heat Pump?

Monday, November 28th, 2016

It is true that heat pumps excel in areas such as the Pacific Northwest, where winter temperatures are fairly mild. If you think that our more severe winter weather rules out the use of a heat pump and the reaping of its benefits, though, you might want to reconsider. Today’s heat pumps are more effective than ever, even in colder weather.

The key to getting the most out of your heat pump is to schedule your heat pump services in Alexandria, VA with trained, experienced professionals. We’ll make sure that your heat pump the right size for your home. We can also help you to decide if any backup heat source is necessary.

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How Is Heating Efficiency Measured?

Monday, November 14th, 2016

These days, everyone is looking for more efficient ways in which to heat their homes during the coldest times of the year. Cutting down on fuel consumption is good for the planet and good for the wallet. Whatever your inspiration may be, the first step in improving efficiency when heating your home is to understand how the efficiency of heaters is measured to begin with.

We’ll give you the information that you need to gain a bit more understanding of the topic. If you have any questions, or if you are ready to schedule professional heating services in Capitol Hill, we’re the company to call. Let us help you to heat your home more efficiently.

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Radiant vs. Forced Air Heating: Pros and Cons

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

While we are not at the point in the year when we’ll need our heating systems regularly just yet, you’ve no doubt begun to notice our cooler nighttime temperatures. You may have turned your heater on to take the chill out of the air already, and it won’t be long before your system is up and running throughout the day. If you need a new heater installed in your home, this is definitely the time to get the process started. 

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Is a Heat Pump Sufficient Year Round?

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Here in Arlington, VA, heat pumps are a viable alternative to forced-air furnaces and similar traditional forms of heating. They work as both a heater and an air conditioner year round, sending refrigerant gas through a series of coils that first heat the surrounding air and then cool it. In cooling mode, the heat pump asborbs heat from your home and transfers it outside, and in heating mode, it absorbs heat from the outside and transfers it into your home. They’re an effective and cost-friendly way to keep your home comfortable no matter what the season, but is a heat pump sufficient year round? Further south, they usually are. Here, however, they sometimes need a little help.

A heat pump’s big advantage is its efficiency. It doesn’t actually create heat or cold temperatures, it merely facilitates a heat exchange with the refrigerant running through its system. That means it uses much less energy than some other forms of heating and air conditioning, keeping your monthly costs down while providing an all-in-one option for conditioning the air in your home. There’s just one catch: that efficiency drops off considerably when temperatures approach freezing levels. Here in Virginia, we don’t get as many cold days as they do in, say, New England, but we certainly have our share of snow and ice in the winter, and a heat pump may not be sufficient during those periods.

The good news is that most heat pumps have electric resistance coils that kick on when the temperature outside gets too cold. They provide that extra bit of help the heat pump needs. You can also choose to combine your heat pump system with a back up furnace to use on very cold days.

If you’re wondering whether a heat pump is sufficient year round for your Arlington, VA home, and need some expert advice, then give us a call here at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. We’re ready to help so don’t be afraid to contact us today!

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Some Common Misunderstandings about Heat Pumps

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice for home comfort today, principally because they offer a two-in-one deal: heating and cooling. However, some customers feel reluctant to consider a heat pump for their Northern Virginia heating and cooling, and instead gravitate toward older systems like furnaces and air conditioners. This reticence comes from common misunderstandings about heat pumps that we would like to address.

Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. has seen firsthand how effective heat pumps are at providing families with comfort and savings. Although a heat pump isn’t the ideal choice for every home, you should still consider one when it’s time for your new heating and cooling installation.

Here are some of the myths about heat pumps:

Myth: Heat pumps are just a heater and air conditioner packaged together

Because heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, people often think that they are two separate units put together in the same container. Actually, a heat pump is one mechanism that uses the same process—heat exchange—to perform its two functions. Essentially, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can change the direction it moves heat: while in AC mode, it moves heat from inside a home and puts it outside; in heating mode, it moves heat from outside and puts it inside.

Myth: Heat pumps are essentially useless in cold weather

During heating mode, the action of heat exchange moves heat from the outside to the inside. This makes it easy to imagine that during cold weather, the heat pump won’t work as a heater: where is it getting warmth from the outdoor air? However, as long as there is molecular motion in the air, there is heat available for heat exchange. Heat pumps can lose efficiency when the temperature drops below freezing, but they are far from useless; and in milder cold weather they are very effective. Most heat pumps have a back up heat system to make sure your home is warm no matter the weather.

Myth: Heat pumps won’t pay off their installation costs

First, as far as air conditioning goes, heat pumps are the same efficiency as a standalone air conditioner of comparable size. Second, heat pumps are a very efficient way to heat your home. Especially when compared to electric furnaces, heat pumps are extremely energy-efficient. Most heat pumps will pay back their installation costs in three years.

Our trained technicians at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. have brought quality cooling and heating to Northern Virginia since 2001. You can trust us to find the heat pump that will keep you and your family comfortable all year long.

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Washington, DC Heat Pump Tip: Why Your Heat Pump Isn’t Heating

Monday, October 28th, 2013

If you have a heat pump installed in your home, you’ll expect it to fulfill both sides of its heating and cooling bargain: air conditioning during hot weather, heating during cold weather. With the chilly temperatures now crawling up on us in Washington, DC, you might find that your heat pump is failing on the “heat” promise. What might cause this, and what can you do to get the heat levels you need?

Polar Bear handles Washington, DC heat pump installation, repair, and maintenance—we know what sort of problems you may encounter with the heat pump in your home, and we are ready to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Why you might not get heat from your heat pump

Before investigating any possible serious malfunctions with your heat pump, make sure that you have it set correctly. Check the thermostat to see that the pump is in “heating” mode, not “cooling.” Make certain that the current programming in the thermostat (if you have a digital, programmable model—and you should) isn’t causing it to shut off at the wrong time.

There is the possibility that the thermostat has developed a fault and is sending the wrong instructions to your heat pump: this is a common occurrence, but one that technicians will have little trouble addressing.

If the heat pump is experiencing issues, the likely reasons are a malfunctioning reversing valve or compressor. A heat pump needs two compressors and the reversing valve to change from air conditioning to heating.

Another possibility to consider is the temperature outdoors. Heat pumps draw heat from outside to warm your home. Even when it’s cold outdoors, there is still some heat available. However, at extreme cold temperatures, heat pumps will struggle to operate efficiently. This will become noticeable when the outdoor temperature drops below 35°F. Then your auxiliary heat will turn on to keep your home comfortable. However, if there is an issue with your electric resistance coils, then your heat pump will not be able to heat your home.

Another issue can be the defrost cycle. When the heat pump is absorbing heat from the outdoor air, ice can form on the evaporator coils. Usually, your heat pump will have a defrost cycle that runs periodically to melt this ice and allow your heat pump to function. However, if there is a problem with your defrost cycle, the ice can build up on the coils and prevent them from absorbing the heat from the air.

Heat pumps won’t work for all homes and all weather conditions. If you discover that your heat pump isn’t malfunctioning and simply cannot cope with the extreme cold, you may need to get a replacement model, a larger heat pump, or a back-up system.

Heat pump repairs require service from professional HVAC technicians. If you can’t explain why your heat pump has stopped giving you heat, contact us right away. With more than a decade of experience, we can find out the source of the problem and devise a solution that will restore your warm indoors as quickly as possible. Give your Washington, DC heat pump the finest care— call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating!

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Can I Save Money with a Heat Pump in Arlington, VA?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Heat pumps make a great addition to any home in Arlington, VA. They are widely recognized to be one of the most energy efficient ways to cool your home, and they also work during the heating season to provide warmth and comfort. This type of flexibility allows you to save money. If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning system, consider a heat pump. Most importantly, though, make sure you opt for reliable and professional installation so you know your system will work well for years to come. If you need a heat pump in Arlington, VA, call the pros at Polar Bear Air Conditioning today!

Let’s take a look at how a heat pump works. Heat pumps work just like air conditioners. They extract warm air from your home, blow it over the cool refrigerant in the evaporator coils, and return the cooled air into your home. The refrigerant has now been pressurized by the warm air and is sent through to the compressor, where the heat exhausts outside. The cycle then repeats itself. The essential principle behind the heat pump is heat transfer, although we often think of it merely as cool air entering our homes.

But heat pumps are more versatile than your average air conditioner. They are equipped with a device that allows the refrigerant to work in reverse, so that they can draw heat from even the coldest temperature outside to warm the cold air removed from the inside of your home and thereby heat your home. This type of versatility makes them incredibly energy efficient. And that means you save money.

One of the most important things to keep in mind as you shop for heat pumps is their size. For your heat pump to operate correctly, it needs to be properly sized to your unique living space. This requires professional assessment not only of the volume of air in your living space, but perhaps also considering the placement of the heat pump equipment. Professional installation will go a long way towards making sure that your heat pump continues to save you money on your energy bill throughout the year. For more information about our Arlington, VA heat pump and air conditioning services, call Polar Bear Air Conditioning today! 

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Washington DC Heating Guide: How to Maintain High Efficiency Filters to Reduce Stress on Your Heat Pump

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The filter on your heat pump is an integral part of your Washington DC home’s comfort system. Without that filter, the device will quickly be subjected to an influx of debris and contaminants that can get into the machinery and the air being filtered into your home. As a result, you need to make sure you properly maintain the filters to reduce stress on your heat pump.

Change Your Filters

High efficiency filters are designed to remove as much of the airborne contaminants in the air as possible. This is fantastic for keeping your indoor air clean. But if you don’t properly maintain the filter, air quality can worsen and your heat pump is put under unnecessary stress. Specifically, the extremely tight knit filter, designed to stop nearly anything from getting through, gets clogged.

Now your Washington DC heat pump is forced to work much harder to draw the air it needs from outside and heat or cool your home. On top of that, the filter is filled with contaminants that can start to leak back into the air supply, actually making your indoor air quality worse than it would be otherwise. That’s why it is so important to clean your filters on a regular basis (for permanent filters) and replace them if they are one time use.

Recommended Filters

You have options as to which types of filters you use for your heat pump. Filters come in multiple options, from super high MERV rated filters that trap up to 99% of all contaminants as small as 0.3 microns.

Electrostatic filters are especially efficient because they extract contaminants of all types – from dust and mold to smoke and gas fumes. A good filtration system should effectively remove anything from the air without needing replacement too often.

Permanent filters tend to offer the best protection against airborne contaminants and generally need to be cleaned once a month. HEPA filters are often permanent and while each filter is different, these are often extremely effective at minimizing contaminants in the air without putting stress on your heat pump.

We all know that high efficiency filters are great to have in your home because they remove contaminants from the air. This keeps your indoor air clean and healthy by preventing pollutants from circulating throughout your forced air system. But what most people don’t know is that if you don’t maintain your air filters, they can actually cause your heat pump to work much harder. When high-efficiency filters get clogged, they can restrict airflow and cause stress to your heat pump. Not to mention making your indoor air quality worse! The contaminants that were caught by the air filter might now start getting back into the air supply, actually making your indoor air quality worse. It is easy to see why it is so important to change your air filter regularly, especially if they are high efficiency.

To schedule a maintenance appointment for your Washington DC heat pump today, call Polar Bear Air Conditioning!

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