Have you considered a heat pump?
So, we’ve already explored the idea that heat pumps and air conditioners are really not all that different. When it comes down to basic engineering, there are only a few differences between the two units. However, having a heat pump can dramatically reduce utility bills and ramp up home comfort in some areas.
As a refresher, this is how a heat pump works. When in cooling mode, the heat pump transfers heat from your indoor air and releases it into your outdoor air. In heating mode, the heat pump does the opposite. It transfers heat from the outside air and releases it into your indoor air. This is a bare bones explanation, but you get the idea.
So…how is this more efficient? It gets REALLLY cold where I live and I don’t think the heat pump can cut it.
You may think it’s harder for a heat pump to extract heat from the outdoor air when temperatures are low, but they actually can be quite efficient down to a certain point (think 20F). When temperatures drop below this, you will have to resort to some sort of backup heat that actually CREATES heat – like a gas furnace or electric heat strips. Heat transfer is typically more energy efficient than heat creation. That’s why you can save more money (particularly if natural gas prices are high in your area or if you don’t need as much heating power). Heck, in some areas of the country, you may even be able to substitute your old gas furnace/air conditioner setup for a single heat pump – just ask your contractor for a recommendation.
But, what if it doesn’t heat my home quickly enough? Will I still get the old comfort levels I had before?
Worried about comfort? Although it may take a teensy bit longer for your home to reach temperature at the start, this shouldn’t be a problem. Your home will enjoy steadier, consistent comfort levels (especially if your heat pump is variable speed or operates in multiple stages). This is unlike the hot blasts of air that can sometimes be typical of a gas furnace. As long as you are not constantly adjusting your thermostat, you should have nothing to worry about.
Have any more questions about heat pumps? Let us know in the comments.