As near to the spotlight as a heating and cooling device can get right now is the heat pump. There is excitement about this environmentally friendly HVAC technology, whether it be ducted heat pumps, mini-splits, or even geothermal systems.
The potential of heat pumps to reduce climate change has received a lot of attention in the past year from major news organizations and magazines.
State, county, and utility organisations continue to increase rebates and incentives for homeowners that install them. The Department of Energy is promoting heat pumps as superior to conventional heating systems.
Additionally, a few legislation that would hasten the deployment of heat pumps were submitted in the Senate in May.
According to the trade body for the industry, the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute, heat pump shipments were up 14.6% yearly as of December 2021.
What is Heat Pump?
It is essentially a device that can heat and cool your house. Compared to a furnace, boiler, or electric radiator, it uses a lot less energy and functions similarly to an air conditioner that also produces heat.
This is because, as opposed to producing heat by burning fuel or utilizing energy-consuming electrical resistance, a heat pump takes ambient heat from the outside of your home and transfers it inside (or outside in cooling mode).
Heat pumps come in a variety of varieties. Due to their ease of installation, air-source systems are the most popular. Even though it is frigid outside, there is always some free heat that they can gather from the outside air.
Similar to adding a central air conditioner, you can add a ducted air-source heat pump to your system if you already have ductwork.
A ductless mini-split air-source heat pump could be simpler to install if there isn’t any existing ducting. Many versions of air-source heat pumps are now capable of keeping your home warm even in below-freezing temperatures, however some models can struggle to function in cold areas.
Then there are ground-source heat pumps, commonly referred to as geothermal heat pumps, which draw heat out of the ground outside your home through large holes excavated there.
Because the temperature underneath is mild and steady year-round at 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the pumps are incredibly effective.
However, they are not always effective in all lots and their installation costs can be prohibitive. Our heat pump buying guide contains further information about each type of heat pump.
More than 10% of homes in the United States use heat pumps as their primary HVAC system; however, most of these homes are located in the hottest regions of the nation, where the older heat pump designs may still function well and efficiently.
But during the past ten years, the performance has significantly improved, particularly in cold weather. Heat pumps are now a viable choice for residential climate management, whether they are used to replace or merely augment a conventional system.
Here are some important elements you should take into account before switching to a heat pump as your home’s new heating and cooling system, as well as some reasons why it may be the best option.
1. Heat Pumps Are More Eco-Friendly
According to a UC Davis study, the most popular varieties (air-source heat pumps) will reduce your household’s carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 40% when compared to gas furnaces.
The precise quantity depends on how your electricity is produced, which powers a heat pump. However, almost all households will lessen their carbon footprint—98% of them, in fact, according to a study from the Universities of Texas, Michigan, and Carnegie Mellon.
The advantages of a heat pump for the environment are enhanced by clean electricity. For instance, a significant power company in eastern Massachusetts already produces more than 60% of its electricity from green and non-carbon energy sources,
such as nuclear energy, wind, solar, and hydroelectric dams. According to the UC Davis study, switching from a gas furnace to an air-source heat pump should reduce household carbon emissions from heating by around 75% in the Northeast.
It only amounts to a 12 percent reduction in the Midwest, where gas and even coal are the main sources of electricity. However, emissions will decrease much further when the grid becomes cleaner (or as more individuals use solar power).
One convincing argument against heat pumps’ widespread use is that it could put the electrical grid under pressure together with other newly electrified technologies like plug-in cars.
As a result, there may be a higher chance of power outages during heat waves and cold snaps, as well as more air pollution from fossil fuel power plants operating longer hours during times of peak electricity demand.
The issue might require a solution from policymakers. However, putting a heat pump in your home is quite likely to be better for the environment overall if you believe it is the correct choice for your residence.
2. Installing a Heat Pump Can Be Easy
Even a smaller system designed for just one or two rooms that require additional heating and cooling can easily be installed in your home.
There are numerous variations of these systems, ranging from ducted to ductless, and that they are very versatile and customized.
You are in a good position if you already have ductwork. The ability of ducted heat pumps to directly connect to existing forced-air systems can assist reduce the cost of installation. Even easier if you already have central air conditioning.
Since installing a heat pump is essentially identical to installing a central air conditioner, the wiring and refrigerant lines will already have the proper electrical connections and runs.
3. Your Home Can Be More Comfortable
In reality, conventional heating systems and basic air conditioners aren’t very good at maintaining consistent temperatures in your home.
In comparison, modern heat pumps are significantly better at keeping your home’s temperature and humidity constant. They like to run continually at a set low level rather than oscillate like a furnace.
There are many various things you may put your money in, but if you’re seeking for a sound investment that will last for a while, you should consider buying a heat pump.
Because they are so energy-efficient and can help you save a lot of money in the long term, heat pumps are growing in popularity.