How I Came to Love Construction

What Does A Heat Pump Do?

by Wade Black

Heat pumps are a relatively new invention in the world of home climate control. As a result, there are many homeowners who don't know what a heat pump is, how it works, what it does and whether or not a heat pump is right for them. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you decide whether or not you want a heat pump for yourself.

What does a heat pump do?

A heat pump is an HVAC appliance that can heat or cool a home, depending on the thermostat setting. Heat pumps act like a cross between a furnace and an air conditioner.

What are the advantages of having a heat pump?

Heat pumps are considered to be highly energy efficient. They're electric, so in areas of the country where electricity is inexpensive and natural gas is more costly, heat pumps can be an affordable and desirable climate control option.

Heat pumps can also be easier to maintain. In homes with a furnace and an air conditioner, the homeowner must pay to maintain two appliances. In homes with a heat pump, the homeowner needs only to maintain one appliance.

What are the downsides of a heat pump?

Heat pumps work like air conditioners, by moving heat from one place to another. On cold days, heat pumps draw heat from the air outside and move that air inside, forcing warmth into the house. On hot days, heat pumps draw heat from the air in the home and move it outside the house, forcing hot air into the yard. This system works very well in climates with mild winters. However, in climates with very cold winters, heat pumps lose efficiency.

It's harder for a heat pump to remove heat from the air when the air is naturally very cold. Heat pumps rely on a not-very-efficient backup heater to come on when the temperature outside drops below a certain temperature. In parts of the country where the temperature is very cold in winter, homeowners may frequently find themselves relying on this inefficient method of heating.

How can you tell if a heat pump is right for you?

Heating contractors in your area can tell you if a heat pump is right for you. If you're wondering if a heat pump would be right for your property, make an appointment with a heating contractor in your area. He or she can tell you more about the advantages of having a heat pump.