Heat Pump Pros and Cons to Help Determine if This System’s Right for Your Needs

October 20, 2013
Ross and Witmer

The most important thing to bear in mind about heat pumps is that they’re extremely efficient. Don’t be misled by the name; they work for you all year ’round.

Here in the Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Gaston and Union conurbation, your HVAC system works as hard at cooling in the summer as it does at heating in the winter. So what are the heat pump pros and cons that could determine if a heat pump would suit your needs?

Heat Pump Principles

A very simple scientific principle is behind the heat pump design: Nature wants to equalize everything: pressure, density and temperature. Heat always equalizes by moving energy from warm areas to cool ones. Thus, in the winter, this equipment ‘pumps’ heat from outside into your home, and in the summer it takes the heat that builds up indoors and moves it outside.

Heat Outside? In Winter?

Yes. Through the cooling season, the heat pump’s compressor/coil mechanism works just like a regular air conditioner, but in the winter it reverses, pulling latent heat out of the air, or out of the ground, and ‘pumping’ it inside.

Heat Pump Efficiency

Conventional heating systems use one form of energy (most commonly natural gas, propane, fuel oil or electricity) to create another (heated air in your home). Hot exhaust gases, escaping through the flue, are lost energy; wasted money. Heat pumps transfer preexisting heat from one place to another. That heat then is free to you, the end user, except for energy used to power the machine itself, mostly the compressor motor and blower. Actual savings will depend on your home’s individual characteristics, your usage patterns and the heat pump installed, but savings of between 10 and 30 percent are the norm.

Of course, an auxiliary heating source is necessary to keep your family warm and safe. Conventional heat pumps involve the installation of a complete heating system. Add-on heat pumps utilize the existing furnace as auxiliary heat source (and fan).

Schedule a free consultation with a Ross & Witmer engineer to discuss heat pump pros and cons, then decide which installation would be best for you.

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