Heat pumps aren’t as popular as traditional heating and cooling equipment, even when they’re better suited for your climate or weather. When they’re a better choice, and which style is best for your home, may surprise you.
Here is everything you’ll need to know when shopping for one of these ingenious heating and cooling units:
Doing Double Duty
Heat pumps both heat and cool homes through a process known as thermal transfer. They remove heat from an environment and transfer it to a cooler one. How it completes this task depends on whether you’re trying to warm a space or cool when. When acting as a heating device, a heat pump operates much like an air conditioner.
The warmer area is called a “heat source” while the location meant to receive the warmth is called the “heat sink”. Geothermal units use temperatures under the ground to cool and heat your home. In summer, these temperatures tend to be much cooler than above-ground temperatures, creating a perfect heat sink for displacing rising indoor heat. In winter, they tend to be much warmer.
Because heat pumps simply move heat from one area to another instead of creating it using fuel, they’re considered very low-energy and great for both your finances and the environment. Unfortunately, it takes more energy to transfer heat into a cold home than transferring it out of a hot one, leaving little savings for those in the coldest climates. Thankfully, new models have emergency heat units that close the gap when needed and allow you the savings throughout the rest of the year.
Who Is Best Suited to a Heat Pump?
People who live in moderate climates get the most benefit from heat pumps. Those who have short or mild winters don’t have to worry about having back-up heat. This makes heat pumps perfect for homeowners in South Carolina. For people in areas where winter frequently dips below freezing, an upgraded model or alternative high-efficiency HVAC equipment will be necessary to stay warm and safe through cold spells without a spike in utility bills.