My electric heat pump
As a hobby, I like to refinish antique wood furniture. I search garage sales, flea markets, estate sales and antique shops, looking for reasonable prices on good pieces. Very often, the chairs, tables, dressers and desks are heavily painted over, in need of new hardware, and ugly-looking. The process of refinishing these pieces is time-consuming, labor-intensive and messy. I start by applying coats of chemical paint stripper, which creates horrible fumes. I then use an electric palm sander to remove any remaining residue, causing a great deal of dust. When it’s time to apply varnish, I need a very clean environment with adequate ventilation. Throughout the entire project, temperature control is crucial. As my hobby has grown into a small business, I wanted a dedicated space where I could work year round. I built a small workshop in the backyard and hooked it up to electricity. Trying to figure out how to handle heating and cooling was a bit of a dilemma. While I was looking for a compact, energy efficient and powerful HVAC system, I was unwilling to spend a fortune on the purchase or installation price. After quite a bit of research, I came across ductless heat pumps. The system consists of an outdoor compressor linked by a conduit to an indoor air handler. The equipment is small, lightweight, and required little more than mounting capability, access to electricity and a three-inch hole in an exterior wall. The heat pump provides both heating and cooling capacity, and operates by simply moving heat from one place to another. In the winter, it finds ambient warmth in the outdoor air, compresses it to a higher temperature, and pumps it into the shop. During warmer weather, the heat pump reverses the process and works much like a conventional air conditioner.