If you live in an area with a moderate climate – where the winters tend to be chilly but not overly cold – you may want to consider using a heat pump to heat and cool your home. This is an alternative to a traditional HVAC system where an air conditioner does the cooling and a furnace does the heating. Here's a closer look at heat pumps, how the operate, and why they're a good choice in a climate like yours.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump does what its name suggests: it pumps heat. In the winter, it pumps heat into your home, and in the summer, it pumps heat out of your home. The compressor coils allow the pump to move heat up the temperature gradient (from an colder area to a warmer area) when this is needed.
Most heating systems work by the combustion of fuel to generate heat, but heat pumps just move heat from one area to another. They're powered by electricity rather than by oil or gas.
Why are heat pumps ideal for a moderate climate?
Heat pumps cool a home well in most any climate. It's the heating feature that has its limitations. A heat pump can effectively keep your home warm when it's 40 degrees or so outside, but it's not as capable of heating a home at 10 or 20 degrees. Heat pumps typically have backup electrical heating systems that generate heat when the pump itself is not sufficient. So your home will stay warm on a super-cold day, but this will use more electricity. Since you only have a few super-cold days in your climate, the heat pumps will rarely have to use its backup heating power.
Heat pumps are very energy efficient, so your heating bills will likely be a lot less than with a typical furnace. Plus, since there's no oil or gas involved, you don't have to worry about fuel leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. This makes heat pumps a very safe choice for families and for people who travel often and don't want their home to be at risk of a gas leak while they're away.
With a heat pump, you also only need to purchase one piece of equipment rather than a furnace and an air condition. This means less equipment to maintain, too, so your repair costs will typically be lower over the life of the appliance.
To learn more about heat pumps, speak with an HVAC company, like Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing, or one in your area.