A Heat Pump is essentially the same as an air conditioner, but with one extra feature added. On cold days, a heat pump reverses its operations and heats the house instead of cooling it.
What makes heat pumps stand out among other heaters is their high efficiency. With an ability to continue operating at 0 degrees Celsius outside and still provide 3kW for every 1Kw electricity fed into them, these machines are a great way of saving money during those cold winter months!
It sounds too good to be true and immediately begs the question: Why don’t we use heat pumps ore often?
Low efficiency used to be the main reason. Up to 2006, most heat pumps were based on low-efficiency 10 SEER air conditioners, and they could not run at low outdoor temperature. In 2006 manufacturing of new units with less than 13 SEER efficiency was outlawed. Virtually overnight, new heat pumps’ efficiency increased by almost 30% and kept rising.
Heat Pump Pro’s
1. Heat pumps can be used in most places almost year-round. Air conditioners are only used for a few short weeks of summer.
2. Ductless heat pumps are becoming more popular as they lead to a lower price point. Current models cost $200 less than their counterparts with an installation, which makes it easy for homeowners who want ducts out of the way or those without enough space in their homes already to save money by opting not having them installed!
The difference in price between heat pumps and air conditioners is narrowing. Ductless units lead the way today with an $200 advantage over their counterpart, making them a clear winner for those who are looking to save on cooling costs!
3. Central air heat pumps may still cost $1000 more that equivalent central air conditioner, but even at this premium a heat pump is an easy choice instead of an air conditioner if you use electricity, propane, or oil for heating.
4. “Smart” hydro meters are coming. Electricity at night and on the weekends will cost only 3.2 c per kilowatt. At this price and at 300% efficiency, electricity is becoming the energy of choice for heating.
5. Heat pumps take advantage of global warming. As winters are getting milder, heat pumps are becoming more profitable.
6. No reason to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning or fuel (gas, propane, oil) escape inside of the house.
Heat Pump Con’s
Heat pumps need supplemental heat. This can come from either a fuel-based furnace or an electric heater. There are two main reasons for this.
1. The heat pump is often seen as a solution for those who live in climates that have cold winters and summers, but it’s important to know the limitations of this system. In particularly cold days or nights when your home needs more heating capacity than cooling ability (which can happen), you may run into problems because not all energy put out by an electrical device goes towards its intended purpose – like getting warm air inside instead doing nothing but taking up space at night time while we sleep!.
2. The cold outdoor temperature can lower the heating capacity of your heat pump to where you’ll need backup.
Heating your home with supplemental heat is not as big of an issue than you might think. Electric strips can easily be accommodated by ductwork for less than $500 dollars!. On the other hand, it may spare you buying a new furnace at $3,000.
And last, but not least – you can finally get rid of fuel heat inside of your house. People and fuels don’t really mix well in the same space.