Heat pumps are growing in popularity, and for good reason: dollar for dollar, they can produce three to four times the amount of heating that a traditional furnace can provide, and their efficiency extends to their cooling powers as well. And because a single unit takes on both the heating and cooling roles in your home, your overall HVAC installation can be simplified. But if that’s the case, why hasn’t the whole nation switched? The answer involves some heat pump pros and cons.
Using a heat pump for your heating and cooling is a very green option. Not only does it take less energy overall, it doesn’t require any natural gas or oil to be pumped to your home. It doesn’t have to generate heat by burning fuel; instead, it takes environmental heat energy from of the outdoors (during the winter heating season) and introduces it to your home, or removes heat energy from your home (in the summer cooling season) and exhausts it outdoors. Because it’s just moving heat, not creating it, it reaches impressive 300-400 percent efficiencies.
But this means that it’s also dependent on outdoor environmental heat to work through the winter. While there’s still heat energy in the environment even when we think of the temperature as cold, once it falls below freezing or so, it becomes difficult for the heat pump to extract enough energy to heat your entire home. This means that during the coldest parts of the winter, you may have to rely on some form of backup heat.
Heat pumps also have a slightly shorter projected lifespan than furnaces – about 15 years, compared to a traditional furnace’s 20. However, the energy savings over those 15 years may be enough to offset the earlier replacement costs.
To learn more about heat pump pros and cons, and whether a heat pump would work in your Colorado Springs area home, call the Rheem Pro Partner!
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