You’re reading this because it’s fall and you have plans to make a big change to your HVAC system before the winter weather arrives. You’re debating about a new choice for comfort: a heat pump. Heat pumps are similar to air conditioners—they move heat from one place to another using the circulation of refrigerant. The difference is heat pumps can switch the direction they operate so they function as both air conditioners and heaters.
This sounds like a dream choice, doesn’t it? Your year-round comfort needs taken care of with a single system that can switch jobs with an adjustment of the thermostat. Of course, it can’t be that simple. And it isn’t.
When a Heat Pump Is a Good Choice
First, let’s look at situations where a heat pump is one of the best options available for an HVAC system:
- You are planning to replace the heater and the air conditioner at the same time. If you have the standard combination of furnace and AC, and both are around the same advanced age (more than 15 years), then installing a heat pump makes sense. A heat pump is more expensive than either a furnace or an AC, but less expensive than buying both.
- You live in a home that doesn’t have a gas line and you’ve always used an electric furnace. A heat pump can save you a great deal of money compared to an electric furnace. A heat pump only uses electricity to move heat, where an electric furnace uses it to directly heat the air. The difference in electrical consumption between the two is significant. If you have to heat your home using electricity only, a heat pump is a excellent alternative to a furnace.
When a Heat Pump Isn’t a Good Choice
We imagine you can already sense the objections to installing a heat pump based on what we wrote above.
- A heat pump must work as both a heater and air conditioner in order for it to be cost effective. Installing a heat pump that you only plan to work as a heating system or air conditioning system is a waste of money. If you don’t plan to replace both the AC and furnace, a heat pump isn’t the right way to go.
- A heat pump can struggle with intense cold weather. As the temperature falls below freezing, the heat pump must expend more energy to draw heat from the outside air to bring inside. For some homes, this may not pose a serious issue. For others, a heat pump simply isn’t up to the task.
Let a Professional Contractor Help You Find the Right HVAC System
You need to consult with a Milford, DE, HVAC contractor when it comes to upgrades for your home comfort system. These are complex systems and long-term investments, and only a licensed professional can help you make the best choice, whether it’s a heat pump, furnace, AC, etc. You’ll need the professionals to install the system anyway, so have them on the job early. Our technicians are standing by to help you.
Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. serves Delaware, and the Maryland Eastern Shore. Call us 24/7 for service!