Heat pumps are not a new invention, but it’s only recently that they’ve started to make a big impression in homes in our area. More and more households today enjoy their summer cooling and winter heating from the two-in-one function of a heat pump.
If you’re considering changing your standard furnace-and-air conditioning HVAC set-up for a heat pump in the near future, you’ve probably already done a bit of research on them. One thing you’ll often read about regarding heat pumps is that they aren’t ideal for every home. Is a heat pump installation in Cherry Hill, NJ the right choice for your comfort needs? Let’s take a look …
The Big Heat Pump Concern
To understand the worry that a heat pump may not be able to provide enough comfort for a home requires explaining how a heat pump works. A heat pump operates essentially the same as an air conditioner: moving heat from inside the home and exhausting it outside using refrigerant. But there’s one important difference, which is that a heat pump can reverse the process, so it moves heat from outside and exhaust inside.
Do you see the potential problem? That’s right—if a heat pump runs in heating mode during winter, how is it able to move heat from outside where it’s cold? There’s always some heat energy available outdoors, no matter how cold it is, and a heat pump is usually able to draw sufficient amounts to warm up a house. However, in extreme colds, a heat pump may struggle doing its job, suffering a big drop in energy efficiency.
How to Solve This Problem
For some homes, there isn’t a problem. The heat pump can manage on most days without losing efficiency. Heat pump technology continues to improve to make the units more effective during low temperatures.
There is an option called a dual fuel heat pump that allows a heat pump to battle the coldest weather for a house that requires extra help staying warm. The dual fuel heat pump consists of a standard heat pump and a small back-up furnace, which can run from natural gas or propane. When the outdoor temperature drops below the economic balance point (jargon for the temperature where a heat pump starts having problems), the furnace kicks in to help. The furnace only runs as long as it needs to. As soon as the heat pump can regain its efficiency, the backup furnace shuts off.
It’s all automatic, and although it costs a bit more to run than a heat pump on its own, a dual fuel system still helps save money compared to using an electric furnace.
Ask the Professionals!
The best way to answer the question in the title is to consult with HVAC professionals. Our experienced HVAC team can help find what type of heating system will deliver the best in comfort and energy savings. Maybe a heat pump, a dual fuel heat pump, or some other system. We’ll see you end up with the ideal new heating and cooling system. Call our service professionals today for an appointment.
Gibson Heating & Cooling serves the greater Cherry Hill area. We’re family-owned and operated and understand how to treat families right!