Green Living

What You Should Know About Heat Pumps

Heat pumps have been around for some time, but many people don’t understand their benefits. We're here to help you demystify heat pumps and learn how they work.

Heat pumps have been around for some time, but many people don’t understand their benefits. What are heat pumps and why are they so efficient? Which pump should you get for your home? We're here to help. 

What Is a Heat Pump and How Does It Work?

A heat pump is an ultra-efficient unit that is installed outside next to your house. It collects warm or cool air and recycles it within your home. In other words, a heat pump does not generate heat, it moves heat from outside indoors. Heat pumps can also cool homes. Modern heat pumps can extract heat during cold temperatures, as well as extract cool air during extreme heat. 

What Makes a Heat Pump So Energy Efficient? 

Did you know it takes a heat pump only 1 kilowatt of energy to produce 4 kilowatts worth of heat? Because heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, less energy is required for them to work. Heat pumps are efficient by design, so they do not overdo heating or cooling like many furnaces or air conditioning units. Heat pumps often reach an efficiency of 400%, whereas the most efficient natural gas burner can only reach about 100% efficiency.  

Which Type of Heat Pump is Best? 

There are air-source heat pumps, water-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, electric heat pumps, and even solar-powered heat pumps. Which among them is the best? It ultimately depends on where you live. For example, if you are nearby a body of water, then a water source heat pump probably makes more sense. If you live in a particularly bright area like near the Rocky Mountains, then a solar-powered heat pump is the way to go. If you’re relatively close to a volcanic geological area like Yellowstone, then a geothermal heat pump is the most reasonable route. Your choice of heat pump is entirely contingent on your location. To learn more about the differences, check out this article

Are There Any Downsides to a Heat Pump? 

The only disadvantage of heat pumps is the upfront cost. While heat pumps will save you money overtime, you’ll have to make an investment upfront to reap those benefits. Additionally, the installation is more involved than a furnace, as research needs to be conducted prior to installation. Retrofitting your house and backyard to support a heat pump system can also be rather extensive. Fortunately, The Inflation Reduction Act provides tax incentives to help offset this upfront investment.  

Why Should I Get a Heat Pump? 

Heat pumps are more sustainable as they consume far less energy than a standard furnace and cooling system. Not to mention heat pumps can simultaneously function as a central air unit, which reduces the need for multiple systems in your home. In the pursuit of electrification and de-carbonization, heat pumps are essential.  

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