If you're thinking about installing a new heat pump in your home, you're not alone. Heat pumps stand out thanks to their numerous advantages in terms of performance, efficiency, and comfort. Nevertheless, choosing a heat pump over a traditional furnace for your heating needs is still difficult. Here are a few factors to consider as you weigh your options.
You Don't Want to Spend Too Much on Heating
Depending on your home's climate control needs, a heat pump installation can work out to be cheaper than a typical furnace. This is especially true if you need to replace your air conditioner and furnace at the same time. Heat pumps provide both air conditioning and heating, making them ideal as a lower-cost solution for home comfort.
When choosing your next heat pump system, consider the type and size of heat pump your home needs, along with any extra features you might want. These factors can easily influence the total cost of your installation.
You're Interested in Maximum Heating Efficiency
Modern high-efficiency gas furnaces boast an Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 95 percent or higher, making them among the most efficient heating systems. However, that still pales in comparison to a modern heat pump.
Heat pumps are able to produce triple the thermal energy for every kilowatt of electrical energy consumed. This gives the average heat pump a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 3, often expressed in layman's terms as "300 percent efficiency" when compared with a high-efficiency gas furnace. Simply put, heat pumps use their energy more efficiently than high-efficiency furnaces.
You're Concerned About Indoor Air Quality
Unlike furnaces, heat pumps don't need the combustion process to produce heat. This removes a potential source of greenhouse gases from play, greatly reducing your heating system's environmental footprint. You also won't have to worry about harmful gases potentially entering your home.
Heat pump systems are also self-contained, meaning that the refrigerant used to facilitate the heating process won't escape into the environment unless there's a leak – and the chances of a refrigerant leak are extremely low with normal care and upkeep.
You Live in the Lower Half of the U.S.
Geography matters when it comes to your heat pump installation. Heat pumps work best in areas that regularly see mild winters with temperatures averaging around 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These areas typically include the southeast and southwest portions of the nation. These areas are also known for their low electricity rates, making a heat pump system even more attractive.
Heat pumps don't work as well in northern climates, where below-freezing temperatures can stymie a heat pump's ability to extract latent heat from the outdoor air. Even in milder climates, having a backup source of heat such as an electric resistance heater is usually a good idea for brief periods of extreme cold.