Name That Mystery Box

Hello, What is a "heat pump"? All i can find on the Internet is talk about the compressor of the heat pump, however they often show a picture of a tall box-looking thingy standing along side of the compressor, but never say a thing about it. I donot even know the name of the "box". What is in the box? I know the fan is in it, however i think there is something else in there - scary- huh? Here on this site http://snipurl.com/ggc7 they talk about:
“Heat Pumps, Split System, Electric Heat and AirConditioning” Then it gets confusing . . .
“What is a “split system”“ may be a better question than “What is a heat pump”. Does it mean a heat pump system can be a one system and a split system also (in that the compressor is in that mystery box or what all is in the mystery box is in the compressor, thus making it a “one system”), or does it mean a heat pump and a split system are two entirely different animals, and if so what are they in comparison to one another?
I was told if i put gas heat in i will be in the same category as a seller trying to sell a house with a swimming pool - it is hard to sell, so i guess i will have to put back the heat pump - split system whatever. For 13 years ihave been calling the thing that was drug out of here a “heat pump”, but was it a heat pump? Its box is still here in the hall in a sort of closet. In there is the central fan i use to circulate air through the ducts. It runs off the now gone heat pump whatever thermostat. Underneath is the air intake, which i have highly filtered (two filters), one metal sort of filter i paid more than i can remember (it was 3 figures) that fits snug under the floor on which the box sits, and then i have another one covering the screen at the hole in the hall wall that leads into the box’s closet - it is at the floor. You can open it, and in there is nothing (on the floor that is) unless you stick your head into the hole and look up. I never did that so i donot know what you would see, however i guess it would be the box’s bottom/feet who knows or the floor the box sits on with a hole in it for the air vent?. The old heating unit used to run air conditioning when you switched the thermostat one way and heat when you switched it the other way. For some reason it stopped running. People said it was because it was old (i took that personal like) and also said the fins were rusted from the salt air - no one ever said anything about the box, so i guess all ihave to do is plunk a compressor whatever right down where the “old” one was and hook up the new one the same way (after i find out what it was: split system or heat pump whatever)?
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See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump

It's the *condensing unit*. It sits outside, while the other half, called the *air handler unit*, sits indoors (usually). A true heat pump can work in only one direction, or in either direction, depending on design. But by convention, most reversible systems are called "heat pumps" and one-way systems are called "air conditioners" or "heat pumps", depending on which way they pump the heat. A "heat pump" pumps the heat indoors, and an "air conditioner" pumps the heat outdoors.
Split systems are more generally referred to as "heat pumps", while window and wall units are more generally referred to as "air conditioners". But that's not politically correct either, since technically, air conditioners are heat pumps. ;->
See also: http://home.howstuffworks.com/question49.htm
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-john
wide-open at throttle dot info
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A heat pump normally consists of two parts: An outdoor unit and an Indoor unit. A heat pump is comparible to a reversible window unit. When you need cooling, it would work normally, it blows cold air inside and hot air outside. If you took it out of of the window and turned it around, then put it back in the window, it would blow hot air inside and cold air outside. The only problem would be the controls are now outside. A heat pump does that with electric controls to reverse the functions of the coils. So it can heat or cool, depending on how you set the thermostat.
Heat pumps can come in split systems, where one unit is outdoors and the other unit is indoors. The indoor unit can be in a closet, the basement, a crawlspace or the attic. The indoor unit connects to the ducts. The outdoor and indoor units are connected to each other with Freon lines and control wiring.
Heat pumps can also come in a packaged system, where everything is in one box that connects to the house through ducts.
Heat pumps can also come in a PTHP, which is a motel type unit. PTHP stands for Packaged Terminal Heat Pump.
Finally, there is a Mini-Split model. There are two units that connect with pipes, but no ducts. The indoor unit looks like a very quiet window unit with just a coil and fan and the controls. The compressor and outdoor fan is in the outdoor unit.
The heat pumps are rated in Tons, SEER and HSPF. Tons are the amount of cooling. It is 12,000 BTUs per Hour. It is like Horsepower in a car. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is cooling efficiency. It is like Miles Per Gallon in a car. HSPF is Heating Efficiency and means Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. Both SEER and HSPF are rated in BTUs per Watt. The higher the SEER and HSPF, the better for your power bill.
The heat pumps are sold as a matched set, so both parts should be installed together. Otherwise it would be like having a Ford car with a Kia engine, Chevy transmission and Dodge rear end. It may run but performance is not what you want and fuel economy is probably poor
a 10 SEER unit will only give you 10 SEER if it is matched to a correct indoor unit. If it is connected to your old indoor unit, it will be less efficient, perhaps a lot less.
Stretch
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I once tried a spit system, but it failed my expectorations.
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-john
wide-open at throttle dot info
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