Installing the right HVAC system is critical for ensuring home comfort in every season. If you’re interested in what heat pumps have to offer, become more familiar with how this equipment works. Then, consider the pros and cons of heat pumps to help you make your final decision.
What is a Heat Pump?
Heat pumps contain a closed refrigerant system, just like air conditioners. In fact, heat pumps operate the same as high-efficiency ACs when in cooling mode, extracting heat from the air inside the house. When the refrigerant reaches the outdoor compressor, it releases the heat it collected and circulates back inside to absorb more.
A reversing valve allows the refrigerant to flow in the opposite direction. When in heating mode, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the outdoor air and deposits it inside. A less-efficient backup heat source (usually an electric resistance coil) kicks in on frigid days to keep your home warm.
Types of Heat Pumps
Split-system air-source heat pumps are the most common. They operate as described above.
Another type of air-source heat pump is called a ductless mini-split. Ductless heat pumps are a great choice for homes without ductwork. Multiple wall-mounted air handlers connect to a single outdoor compressor to provide heating and cooling throughout the house.
There are other types of heat pumps as well, including ground-source or geothermal heat pumps. These transfer heat between the indoor air and the ground outside your home.
Heat Pump Pros
Consider these reasons to install a heat pump:
- High-efficiency cooling: In the summer, heat pumps achieve the same high-level performance as top-of-the-line AC units.
- Incredible heating efficiency: Heat pumps really shine in the winter. Because they move heat rather than converting it from a fuel source, you may save 30 to 40 percent on your heating bills—or even more, if you have solar panels.
- One machine does it all: Choosing a heat pump over the traditional furnace/AC combination is a great way to reduce installation costs. This is true whether you’re installing HVAC equipment in a newly constructed home or replacing your existing heating and cooling system.
Heat Pump Cons
Heat pumps aren’t for everyone or every climate. Consider these drawbacks:
- Less efficient in low temperatures: Because they extract heat from outside, air-source heat pumps are less effective when the temperature falls below freezing. The backup electric resistance coil provides supplemental heat, but your bills will increase as a result. All-climate heat pumps are more efficient in cold temperatures, so that’s something to consider with Northern Utah’s chilly winters.
- Less intense heat: Heat pumps provide a lower temperature rise than furnaces, especially as it becomes colder outside. This results in longer operating cycles and more of a drafty feel. However, some people prefer the mild warmth a heat pump generates because it results in more consistent temperatures.
Ready to install a heat pump in Orem or Draper, UT? Contact Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling at 801-890-2037 to schedule services.