Heat pumps are becoming a more common HVAC option in many regions. There are a few reasons for this. For one, heat pumps run on electricity, which is often considered a greener energy source than burning fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. Heat pumps are also very energy-efficient, which helps keep operating costs down. If you want to take advantage of one or both of these benefits, you may be thinking about getting a heat pump yourself. Here are a few important things to know before you do.
Heat pumps air condition your home, too.
Heat pumps are not just heaters. They are made to be reversible. In one mode, they pull heat from the outdoor air and push it into your home. In the opposite mode, they air condition your home by pulling heat out of your home and exhausting it to the outdoors. So, if you have a heat pump installed, you will not have to install a separate air conditioner. It's usually more affordable to install this one appliance than to install a separate heater and air conditioner.
Heat pumps do take longer to heat than furnaces.
The heating element inside a heat pump does not get as hot as a burner inside a furnace. For this reason, it will take a little longer to heat your home with a heat pump than with a furnace. This should not have a drastic effect on your comfort level; your home will get as warm as you desire. However, it is important to know this going in so that you're not surprised when your heat pump runs for a longer time.
Heat pumps do require regular maintenance.
Keep in mind that your heat pump will be working twice as hard, over the course of a year, as a furnace or an air conditioner. This is because it is doing the job of both appliances. Because heat pumps work harder, they do require more maintenance. Most people have an HVAC contractor come out once or twice a year to adjust the unit, check the refrigerant levels, lubricate moving parts, and so forth. Having this maintenance done will keep your unit operating efficiently, and it will also reduce the number of breakdowns you experience.
With these thoughts in mind, you will have a better idea of what to expect when you have a heat pump installed. Talk to your HVAC contractor to learn more about heat pumps.