When it comes to heating and cooling for a home, many people automatically think of central heating and air systems. But some may not realize that there is another option for both heating and cooling. That option is a heat pump, which can either be gas-powered or be electric.
Heat pumps work well in climates that have moderate heating and cooling needs and are a viable alternative to furnaces and both central and window-unit air conditioners. Heat pumps come in three varieties: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal.
In a nutshell, heat pumps transfer heat from either water, air, or ground sources, and make it available for use inside homes. They can also work in reverse to provide cooling as well.
There are some definitive benefits to installing a heat pump. One of those benefits is energy efficiency. In fact, a heat pump is one of the most energy efficient means of heating a home that a homeowner can choose. In technical terms, heat pumps achieve a coefficient of performance of 2.5 or higher. Compare this to a conventional heating system such as a furnace, which has a coefficient of performance of less than one. Mathematically speaking, this means that a heat pump uses one kilowatt of electricity to provide 2.5 kilowatts of heating power, while a conventional furnace produces a 1 to 1 ratio.
Another advantage of heat pumps is uniform heating throughout the home. This means that a home will not have cold spots that can come with traditional furnaces. A heat pump will also turn on and off less often than traditional heating systems.
A heat pump can also work in a home that does not have ducts. These are called a mini-split heat pump. Homes without ducts often have no options for forced-air heating and cooling, so this can be advantageous.
A longer lifespan is a further advantage of heat pumps, so long as they are properly maintained. A heat pump can last 20-25 years. Furnaces last approximately 16-20 years and a central air-conditioning unit lasts around 15-20 years. Although heat pumps may be initially more expensive, not having to replace it as soon as other options, as well being energy efficient meant that heat pumps have an advantage.
“A heat pump is also a great way to go green,” says Steve Lewis, President and CEO of Ambient Edge, a furnace repair company in Las Vegas.
Heat pumps do not use combustion to generate heat. This means that the only carbon emissions are those that are created at the electricity’s production and heat pumps use less electricity than a furnace. Also, as stated above, there are also natural-gas powered heat pumps as well.
A final advantage to heat pumps is that they can actually improve the air quality of your home. Since nothing is being burned to create the heat, your home is free of the particulates and odors that can accompany other systems.
These are just a few advantages to using a heat pump to cool and heat your home. Speak to a heating and air professional to learn if a heat pump will work in your home.