Will a Heat Pump Suit Your Needs? Consider These Pros and Cons
Are you in the market for new heating and cooling equipment? With so many options to choose from, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Maybe heat pumps are the ideal type of equipment for your home; then again, maybe not. Before you choose a heat pump over a traditional furnace and air conditioner, consider the pros and cons.
Heat Pump Pros
1. Enhanced comfort
One quality about heat pumps is that they heat the interior more gradually than furnaces, especially when it’s quite cold outside. This ostensible disadvantage is actually a benefit, since it results in a smaller temperature fluctuation.
2. Lower heating costs
Because heat pumps move heat instead of generating it from a combustible fuel source, it can achieve well over 100 percent efficiency. The more efficient your heating equipment is, the less you pay to keep your home comfortable. (The exception is when natural gas prices are exceptionally low, which has been the case in some parts of the country for the past year or so.)
3. Cooling functionality
Heat pumps work in reverse to cool your home in the summer. That means buying a heat pump provides year-round comfort without the need to invest in another piece of equipment.
Heat Pump Cons
1. Diminished efficiency in low temperatures
As you might imagine, extracting heat from outdoor air becomes more difficult as the temperature drops below freezing, which is a common occurrence during Mid-Atlantic winters. Sub-freezing temperatures also allow ice to form on the outdoor unit. This causes the heat pump to enter defrost mode in order to melt the ice. To counter these conditions, heat pumps come with backup electric resistance heating. This backup heat source keeps your home comfortable, but it nullifies the low energy bills you expect from a heat pump. Consider a dual-fuel system as an alternative, which uses a natural gas furnace as the backup heating.
Heat pumps stay on much longer than furnaces, meaning the fan and compressor are on almost constantly in cold weather. A low noise rating decreases the distracting sound of a running heat pump, as does installing the outdoor unit away from windows and doors.
For more information about whether heat pumps are right for your home, please contact Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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