While traditional heating systems generate heat by burning fossil fuels, air-source heat pumps move heat from one area to another, allowing them to operate much more efficiently than a furnace or boiler. In fact, heat pumps are so efficient that they can heat and cool a home for as little as one-fourth the cost of heating and cooling with a standard furnace and central air conditioner. Unfortunately, once it gets too cold outside – generally below 40 degrees F -- heat pumps struggle to find enough heat energy to keep the home warm and toasty, forcing homeowners to rely on more expensive backup heating systems.
Modern cold-climate heat pumps solve this long-standing problem and are designed to operate efficiently and effectively when the temperature drops below freezing, or even lower. Read on to learn how these units work and find out whether they are the right choice for your home.
Standard Backup Systems
Heat pumps are one of the most efficient choices in areas where it rarely gets below freezing, such as southern California or the southwestern states. In other parts of the country, however, most homeowners are forced to use some form of backup heating. The simplest system is an electric heater, which kicks on when the heat pump alone can no longer beat the cold. These backup heaters are extremely expensive to operate, however, so those living in very cold areas often have to add a furnace to keep the home warm enough in the winter. Cold-climate heat pumps are designed to eliminate this costly backup system and serve as the sole heat source in many climate zones.
How Cold-Climate Systems Work
A cold-climate heat pump is a heat pump equipped with modern features that help it keep on top of extremely cold temperatures. This generally includes a variable speed motor, which allows the unit to operate at different speeds depending on temperature. It may also include a more effective mix of refrigerant to transport heat from outside to indoors, as well as insulated tubes to assist even further in this transport.
Because heat pumps extract heat instead of producing it, they are much cheaper to run than many other heating systems. Homeowners in cold areas, like New England, can expect to save $1,842 per year compared to electric heating when switching to a cold-climate heat pump. Those currently using oil heat can save an average of $865 annually, while propane furnace users can expect savings of around $1,268 per year.
For more information, contact contractors like D & R Service Inc.Share
10 August 2015
While sitting in my living room on a hot summer day, I could feel the heat coming through the ceiling out of my attic and making the house warm up more than it should. I crawled up into the attic one evening to find out that the roof vents weren't working any longer because they were clogged with all sorts of debris. Did you know that when this happens, your home's temperature can rise to very uncomfortable levels? Did you know that your home could actually be damaged if the attic isn't well vented? This blog will show you all about attic ventilation.