Heat Transfer Vs. Original Heat : Determining Heat Pump Savings
Over the past weeks, we’ve talked about the different systems you can use to heat your home. But, do you want to know the big thing that sets them apart?
It’s heat transfer and heat creation.
Here’s a very basic breakdown of what these two methods entail.
Heat Transfer: When the system uses refrigerant to transfer heat using the outdoor air.
Heat Creation: When the system uses energy sources (like natural gas or electricity) to create warm air.
So, which systems use heat creation?
Well… a lot of systems use heat creation. Think of your air handler, a space heater and gas furnaces. These methods tend to use more energy. That’s why, if you have an air handler with heat strips, or are using room or space heaters to heat your space, your electric bills can seem SKY HIGH. Gas furnaces also use heat creation, but are generally considered a less expensive way to heat your home. That’s because natural gas rates are normally lower than electricity rates in most areas.
All right, so which system uses heat transfer?
Well… that would be our friend the heat pump. Interestingly enough, it’s also the way an air conditioner works. Your heat pump uses refrigerant to transfer heat between one air stream and another. In winter, it transfers heat from the outdoor air to refrigerant. Then, the refrigerant transfers that heat into the indoor air.
How does this translate to heat pump savings?
Heat transfer generally requires less energy than heat creation (to a certain temperature mark). Which is why, if you live in an area that doesn’t see frequent temperatures below freezing, you can see savings when choosing a heat pump paired with an air handler for your year-round heating and cooling method. It’s also why, in other areas, a dual-fuel system is such a good idea. Instead of using an electric back-up heating method during the fall and spring, your heat pump can take over the job.
Make sure you keep this in mind while you are designing your new heating and air system with your local HVAC contractor. They’ll be able to tell you which method is the best for your home based on your local weather conditions!
Do you use a heat pump for year-round heating and cooling?