An electric heat pump is a single unit that both heats and cools your home. A heat pump is the most efficient heating and cooling system available today because it generates less than one unit of heat for each unit of energy it consumes.
Simple. It pumps heat. In summer, it moves heat from inside your house to the outside. In winter, it moves heat from the air outside to inside your home. This is done using the refrigerant that is pumped by the compressor through the indoor and outdoor coils
You bet. Outside air at 0 degrees F. contains 82% of the heat available in the air at 100 degrees F. (get a high school physics teacher to tell you why!). One of the amazing things about the heat pump is that it can extract that heat from the outside air and pump it into your home.
An electric heat pump operates most efficiently at temperatures above the low 30's. When temperature dip below that, some supplemental heat is required. But don't forget, it's above 32 degrees in our area more than 94% of the time during the heating season. Supplemental heating can be supplied by an electric heater or gas furnace.
You will save a little more, especially in the summer. The recommended thermostat setting is 78 degrees for cooling and 70 degrees for heating.
Some people think that's true, because a heat pump takes a little getting used to. With a heat pump, you don't get those uncomfortable blasts of hot air that you get with a gas furnace. A heat pump keeps the room temperature more constant than a gas furnace, so you're more comfortable all the time. If you're like most people who find that sometimes they're too hot and sometimes they're too cold with a gas furnace, an electric heat pump is probably just right for you.
Right. And that's what helps maintain a constant, comfortable temperature in your home that's better tolerated by people, pets, and plants.
Right again. But remember, it produces two to three units of heat for each unit of energy it uses (compared to less than one unit of heat from a gas furnace), so you end up with significant savings at the end of the month.
Wrong. A heat pump is designed to run all year long--like your refrigerator (and when was the last time you had to replace that?) Appliance Magazine says heat pumps have about the same life expectancy as a regular central air conditioner used with a gas furnace. And even the Gas Research Institute admits in a study report that "As the efficiency of heat pumps is increased, their anticipated life increases as well." By contrast, in that same study, the Gas Research Institute suggests that the expected life of gas furnaces will decrease as their efficiency improves.
A heat pump uses the same sized ductwork as a typical gas furnace/central air conditioning system. And unlike gas furnaces, which routinely are oversized, you don't need to over-size a heat pump. If you're installing a heat pump in an Energy Action home, you may even need a smaller unit. The reason is because Energy Action homes are built for maximum energy savings.
No. Today's heat pumps are generally as efficient as typical central air conditioners.
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