A heat pump extracts energy from sources outside your home or building and transfers it to the inside. It’s one of the most efficient forms of heating, cooling, and dehumidification in the world. It’s also one of the greenest, most cost-effective ways to heat your home.
How They Work
There are three main types of heat pumps, each with its own benefits. They all work by using a process of compression and exchange to extract heat from the air or the ground and transfer it into your home’s ductwork or air handlers.
They can use electricity, natural gas, geothermal energy, or even waste heat from a factory to create and maintain temperatures that are up to 20 degrees warmer than what you’d get with a furnace or a standard air conditioner. They’re also more efficient and more environmentally friendly than other heating technologies, and they’re more economical in cold weather than gas furnaces or electric heaters.
These systems can also reduce the carbon emissions from your home, especially when powered by renewable energy such as solar PV. Depending on your local climate, these systems may be eligible for state or utility subsidies.
When They’re Not Practical
For some homes, a Mini Split AC may be the wrong solution. Often, it can be difficult or expensive to install a heat pump in a house that doesn’t have ducts.
You’ll also need a high-quality HVAC professional to make sure your system is running efficiently and safely. They’ll check the evaporator coils for moisture, clean the filters, and make sure there aren’t any problems with piping or the refrigerant.
How Much They Cost
Typically, a heat pump will cost more than a traditional electric resistance heating system. However, the cost will be offset by any state or utility subsidies you have.
The energy savings you’ll enjoy with a heat pump are also substantial. In fact, a typical model can save you up to 50% on your heating bills compared to a conventional gas furnace or electric baseboard heater.
There are many different kinds of heat pumps, from the basic air-source models used in mild climates to more sophisticated hybrid systems. There are also heat pumps that run entirely on electricity, which can help you meet your carbon emissions goals.
When They’re Not Practical
The most common type of heat pump is the air-source unit that tries to gather free heat from the air around you, and the more advanced models can collect heat from the ground or a nearby source of geothermal energy. Until relatively recently, the technology wasn’t advanced enough to work well in areas that experienced long periods of subfreezing temperatures.
Today’s technology is making these units an excellent choice for places with cold winters and short summers. They can efficiently gather and circulate the free heat in the air even when it’s frozen solid.
If you’re thinking about installing a heat pump in your home, be sure to ask for referrals from friends and neighbors, business associates, or local green-energy resource groups. They’ll know a reliable, qualified contractor in your area who can help you decide on the right system for your home and budget.