Ever wonder if there’s an alternative to the everyday common furnace?
A heat pump is another way we can help heat the house in those cold winter months. Very similar to an air conditioning system where it cools a unit called an ‘A’ coil, making the inside cold and dumping the heat outside. When we reverse that process by making the outside cold and dumping the heat inside, that’s a way to heat our home.
A heat pump works in the sense that it takes heat from the outside air, ground or well water and transfers them into the house ducts. Despite the cold temperature outside, heat can be removed from things right down to absolute zero.
Most heat pump systems have an electric back up installed into the furnace ducts known as the plenum heater, which acts similar to a small electric furnace. It kicks in whenever the heat pump is unable to keep up with the heat demand (such as when we bring the temperature up by ten degrees) or when it is in defrost mode.
Lastly, a heat pump uses low-grade heat - it needs to run a lot of the time, therefore it can’t be used with a programmable thermostat.
However take in notice when purchasing to replace a typical furnace or for a new home that it may take a few years to recover the capital costs by way of heat cost savings. Even though they are more expensive to buy, in the long run they have low running costs and can save you a lot of money.