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What Are the Pros & Cons of Heat Pumps?

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Have you been hearing the buzz about heat pumps? They’re all the rage these days for good reason: heat pumps are green, clean, mean heating machines! But cheesy rhymes aside, this heating technology is great for everybody. Well…almost everybody.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of the HVAC industry’s newest sweetheart, heat pumps. Learn why upgrading your home to a heat pump might totally be worth it. Or…why it might not be the best choice for your home right now.

Lees Air, Plumbing, & Heating is at the forefront of energy-efficient heating and cooling upgrades. We help homeowners across California and the Southwest convert their homes from traditional fuel-burning heating to clean energy heat pumps.

If you’ve got questions about making the switch, give our home heating specialists a call and we’ll answer all your questions about home heating.

The Good! Pros of Installing a Heat Pump

Heat pumps, also called ductless split systems, are making waves for good reason: they’re a great alternative source of heating for homes in mild climates. Let’s discuss what all the hype is about!

Here are some reasons that you might make the switch to a heat pump if your furnace is acting up, out of shape, or simply ready to bite the dust.

Heat Pumps Are Energy-Efficient

Think about energy efficiency in very simple terms: how much money does it cost to keep your home at a temperature you find comfortable?

Heat pumps don’t create heat like a furnace does by burning fuel. Rather, heat pumps transfer energy from one area to another. More specifically, from the outside air to the inside of your home.

This is done with pressure and refrigerant that changes from liquid to vapor as it draws in heat energy. This refrigerant cycles through your outdoor unit and extracts heat from the natural air. It then cycles through your indoor unit and releases that heat, which is dispersed throughout your home.

For more science stuff, click here. But know that moving heat around like this is a lot easier on your wallet compared to burning natural gas or oil. Fossil fuels are great at creating really hot air. But the process leads to lost energy and poor efficiency.

A properly installed heat pump that is maintained regularly can save you up to 30-40% on your heating bills. So yeah, heat pumps are energy efficient.

Heat Pumps Are Cleaner Than Furnaces

When gas-burning appliances operate they release methane and other gasses into the air. It’s part of the chemical process of burning fuel. Again, click here for more science talk.

Heat pumps don’t use fossil fuels and don’t burn anything to operate effectively. So staying warm with a heat pump means you’re living a greener life and that your home is more environmentally friendly. Think about the polar bears.

Not to mention, the global petroleum market isn’t exactly the most stable system on Earth. Because electricity is produced by wind, water, solar power, and biomass, it tends to be more resistant to pricing fluctuations. Heat pumps use electricity, not gas or oil, so your monthly heating expenses are much more predictable.

Rebates! Rebates! Rebates!

Speaking of saving money, how about just being given money instead?! Most governments are concerned with keeping our ozone intact while everyone stays warm and cozy.

In real-life terms what does this mean? It means that when you convert your home to a heat pump the government will give you money. Switching from a furnace, boiler, or oil heating to a heat pump will most likely make you eligible for rebates.

Rebate programs vary from region to region, but it’s common for homeowners to be rewarded when they make the switch. California residents who hire Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating for a heat pump install are eligible for these rebates. But don’t worry, we give every customer a full rundown on available rebates when we start talking heat pump installation.

Your Dual-Threat HVAC Answer

This is a little confusing because it’s called a heat pump, but this machine can keep your home cool too.

Heat pumps essentially use the same technology as air conditioners to transfer heat from one place to another. So, by reversing the direction of heat from inside to outside, your heat pump becomes a cooling system.

How can a single system for heating and cooling your home benefit your lifestyle? Consider that installing a heat pump means:

  • Less space in your home is taken up by both heating and cooling equipment.
  • You only need to maintain one system for both heating and cooling (our memberships make this really easy).
  • If your air conditioner OR heating system is ready for a replacement you get to upgrade both when you choose a heat pump.

The Bad…What’s Not to Like About Heat Pumps

There is no such thing as a universally perfect heating system. Not even the energy-efficient, eco-friendly heat pump can make this claim! So let’s talk about why, and where, a heat pump may not be the best choice to heat your home.

Heat Pumps Aren’t Great When It’s Frickin’ Freezing

The heat created from burning gas and oil is more intense (see: hotter) than heat being transferred from one place to another. So when it’s really cold, heat pumps struggle to keep up.

Most heat pumps are rated to a temperature of 40 degrees or higher. If your area occasionally gets a little frost, no big deal. But homes that routinely experience outdoor freezing temperatures are not ideal for a heat pump installation.

Heat pump technology may change in the coming years. The most modern units are better at heating cold spaces than their predecessors. But currently, heat pump installations are great for places like California, Arizona, and the rest of the South US. People in Alaska have to keep it old school with a furnace for now.

Installing a Heat Pump Costs a Couple of Bucks

Replacing or upgrading a home comfort system is never a drop in the bucket when it comes to the cost. But installing a heat pump will usually run a higher price tag compared to a traditional furnace.

Before letting the price of switching to electric heating intimidate you, consider the following:

  • What rebates are you eligible for with a heat pump install?
  • Are there potential monthly energy savings?
  • Are there financing options that make a long-term investment more appealing?
  • What are the prospects of natural gas prices climbing even higher?
  • What is annual repair and maintenance costing you with your current heating system?

Our heating specialists at Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating are always upfront when it comes to pricing. We’ll make sure you know exactly what to expect when it comes to installing a new furnace or heat pump. You can evaluate your budget and make a decision that makes the most sense.

There Is No Ugly…Heat Pumps Are Beautiful!

If you live in a temperate or mild climate that doesn’t drop below freezing very often, a heat pump can definitely handle your heating needs. But installing and integrating a heat pump into your home can be expensive.

If you’re looking for the cleanest heating system and want to make your home more energy-efficient, a heat pump is where it’s at. And taking advantage of government rebates is always a nice bonus when you upgrade your home’s heating.

Just like other heating systems, heat pumps come in different sizes and with a variety of features. Our HVAC specialists will make sure to run you through all the options and give you flat-rate pricing for your completed heat pump installation. And don’t forget, we‘ve got financing!

Give us a call at Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating if you’re thinking about switching to sustainable energy with a heat pump.

Written by Thomas Howard

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