How does a condo heat pump system work?
Water-source heat pumps (WSHPs) are among the most energy efficient HVAC systems on the market and one of the most commonly used condominium heating and cooling systems in Toronto and GTA.
Water source heat pump systems in a condominium building consist of a centralized boiler, cooling tower, building piping loop, and several water source heat pumps (WSHP).
The water source heat pump units themselves are water-to-air heat pumps and they consist of a heat exchanger (water/refrigerant), airside coil (refrigerant/air heat exchanger), reversing valve, fan section, filters, drain pan, and cabinet.
Water source heat pumps are available in many configurations including horizontal units for above the ceiling applications and vertical units.
Like single-family split air source heat pumps, condo water source heat pumps transfers heat from one location to another using electricity. Heat is added to and removed from the water loop using a boiler and cooling tower.
During summer, water source heat pumps absorb heat from your apartment and reject it to the water in the building piping loop and cool your space and during winter it absorbs heat from the building piping loop and rejects it to your space and keeps your apartment warm.
The Benefits of Water Source Heat pumps
- Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings
- Easy and simple servicing
- Better Indoor Air Quality
- Quiet Operation
- Individual Zoning
What to Consider When Replacing a Condo Heat Pump
Each water source heat pump is designed to work with a specific water flow rate and water temperature. As mentioned above, while your water source heat pump is located in your apartment, it is connected to the building’s centralized piping loop, boiler and cooling towers. When you plan to install a new WSHP building design and requirements must be considered.
There are two main components in a water source heat pump, Chassis and Electrical Board. When you replace a heat pump, you don’t need to change the electrical component as it can increase the cost of the replacement. If you want to keep the cost lower, you can just change the Chassis (the mechanical components). As a result, it is always recommended to replace your heat pump with the same brand to avoid compatibility problems.
The Cabinet Size
There are many condo water source heat pumps available in the market from different manufacturers. Each with different specifications and dimensions. When replacing a new heat pump, keep space and size limitations in mind.
How to Maintain Your Water Source Heat Pump
You can safeguard your water source heat pump system from wear and tear and ensure that your system runs at peak performance throughout the year by following these simple maintenance tasks:
- Inspect the air filters monthly, clean them or change them when necessary
- Check the coils and fans. They are prone to dust and dirt accumulation and clean them on a regular basis to ensure optimal airflow.
- Clean the fins without bending them with a vacuum cleaner with a brush head.
- Refer to the instruction manual and follow the guidelines on how to operate and maintain your heat pump.
- Ask a licensed and insured HVAC professional to inspect the unit periodically. There are certain tasks that need to be done by a professional.