The high desert climate might help moderate temperatures, but it’s not enough to avoid the need for reliable heating and cooling. One option to consider is a heat pump. In the High Desert area, this method of indoor climate control can handle both warming and air conditioning duty. Heat pumps are well-known for their high efficiency. This is attributable to the fact that they pull heat from the environment rather than generate it. The heat can either be used for raising temperatures in the house or it can be channeled outside. In the High Desert region, particular circumstances determine how beneficial a heat pump can be. Before looking at factors that favor heat pumps, check out this brief sketch of how one works.
How Heat Pumps Work
To start with, a heat pump is basically an air conditioner that permits its working fluid to flow in both directions. During the cooling process, the working fluid, R-410A, is compressed to raise its temperature. With a greater level of heat than the surrounding exterior air, this fluid is routed outside where its heat is dissipated to the relatively cooler outdoor air. The cooled fluid, still under pressure, is then depressurized to drop its temperature even lower. The cold fluid is finally brought indoors to cool the home by absorbing more heat. To warm things up, the system reverses by using low-pressure fluid to draw residual heat from outdoor air before being compressed to concentrate and raise its temperature. Inside, this heat is radiated to the surrounding air. The cooled, pressurized fluid is then depressurized to lower its temperature below that of the outdoors so that heat will move from the exterior air to the fluid.
When Are Heat Pumps More Efficient?
With this technique, a heat pump loses its efficiency as the outdoor air runs low on available ambient heat. This starts just below freezing, and in the High Desert people can usually expect this at night throughout the winter months. Still, if a particular home only has access to heating oil or electricity instead of cheap natural gas, this situation can be favorable to using a heat pump. It’s also true that warmer winter temperatures helpful for heat pumps can be found at lower elevations. It’s also important to remember that since these devices perform both heating and cooling operations and have a large part of the system outside, they consume less floor space than most alternatives.