Heat pumps have a variety of benefits compared to traditional central A/C units and furnaces, including a simplified design, lower maintenance costs, and a better ability to purify and dehumidify air. However, one of the best reasons to choose a heat pump over a traditional central HVAC system is simple – energy-efficiency. Most people who install heat pumps in their home enjoy a power bill that’s 10-30% lower, and this number can be significantly higher if energy-efficient windows, insulation, and other such “green” materials are used.
Why are heat pumps so efficient? Find out in this article!
Why Are Heat Pumps So Energy-Efficient?
There are a few reasons that heat pumps offer better energy-efficiency, compared to furnaces and central air conditioners. The biggest reason is that heat pumps, as the name suggests, don’t really “heat” or “cool” the air. Instead, they “pump” warm or cool air from one area of your home to another. This method of heat “transfer” is much more efficient than simply heating or cooling your home.
When a heat pump is in “cooling” mode, it’s taking heat from warm air inside your home, and allowing it to be released outside of your home, into the atmosphere. And, conversely, when your home is being heated, it’s taking cooler air from outside the home, heating it, and releasing it into your home.
In both of these cases, the heat pump is able to use the heat that already exists in the air, in order to provide heating or cooling power. This means that the air in your home is never heated more than necessary – leading to incredible efficiency.
Having trouble understanding?
That’s fine – it’s complicated! Here’s an example. Let’s say that you’re looking to warm up your home in the winter.
There is heat in the air, even when the temperature is at absolute zero (-459.67°F) and we’re freezing outside. The heat pump attracts that heat using -60°F refrigerant running through the outside unit’s coil. Since heat will naturally move towards cold air, even when it’s 0°F, there is still plenty of heat for the heat pump to capture, even though it might not feel like it.
Once that heat is extracted from the air, the compressor and refrigerant move it to the inside of the building, delivering it with very little clean electricity.
Eventually, that heat will escape from your home and return to where it started: outside. And the cycle continues, ultimately creating an efficient source for your heating and cooling.
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