An air conditioner sits outside the home and compresses a gas called refrigerant. Why? Because the gas is pumped from inside where it has absorbed heat energy from your indoor air. When the air conditioner compresses the gas, it condenses down to a chilled liquid as heat energy is dissipated into the air outside.
A heat pump looks and works just like an air conditioner in the summer by compressing and chilling the refrigerant that is used to cool your home. The difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump is that during cold weather a heat pump can also heat your home by reversing the cooling process.
When using a heating source to heat your home other than a gas furnace, an air handler is needed to work with the air conditioner (or heat pump) for cooling. An air handler (also called a fan coil) contains an indoor coil used to hold refrigerant from the outdoor unit, and a fan motor used to circulate air.
Modern digital thermostats boast features that make home comfort control pretty slick. For example, now you can access your thermostat from a smart phone! Imagine turning on the A/C on your way home from work on a hot summer day! You can also program thermostats, which helps save on energy costs.
Most residential heating and air systems are known as “split systems” because an air conditioner or heat pump sits outside the home, and the rest of the equipment is located inside. This works well, and is the most energy efficiency setup, however sometimes indoor space doesn’t allow for a normal split system to be installed.
Boilers like this Rinnai condensing boiler are in charge of your home’s hot water. They provide hot water by filling a large tank and heating this tank of water 24 hours a day. This means you have hot water when you need it! Condensing boilers make better use of energy, which lowers your hot water bill each month.
A gas furnace is the most common way to keep a home cozy warm when our beaches turn cold during a Virginia Beach winter season. Gas furnaces use natural gas (inexpensive) or propane (more expensive) for homes in rural areas that don’t have access to natural gas.
An indoor coil is required for an air conditioner or heat pump to function. In fact, without an indoor coil your air conditioner would be useless! The air conditioner compresses refrigerant which chills it, and this chilled refrigerant is pumped inside to the indoor coil.