The Answer to 3 Common Heat Pump Questions


Heat pumps are one of the more innovative air conditioning solutions out there on the market. They work almost just the same as normal air conditioners, but with one key difference: they have both cooling and heating functions. All it takes is flipping a switch to reverse the flow of refrigerant, and you have a genuine home heater and AC in one device.

It’s no surprise, then, that many homeowners—whether or not they currently have an AC system—want to know more about them. In this post, we’ll help answer three questions about heat pumps.

Should I convert from an oil or natural gas heating system to a heat pump?

If you already have a heating system, most HVAC contractors in Tacoma, WA would recommend keeping it and opting to get a central air conditioner instead. While we do agree with this assessment, we also want to inform you that it’s not an unwise decision to switch to a heat pump anyways.

Heat pumps use electricity, and that brings in several benefits:

  • They’re safer because they don’t use combustible fuels. Plus, this makes them better for the environment.
  • They’re more convenient because you don’t need to regularly clean them or connect them to a fuel tank.
  • Heat pumps lose efficiency in extremely cold weather, so you could still use your oil or natural gas heater in those cases.

Are heat pumps friendlier for the environment?

Not only do manufacturers of heat pumps abide by stricter environmental regulations, ductless heat pumps are far more efficient.

Ductless heat pumps, as their name suggests, do not require a system of ducts like your standard central air system. And this is a good thing, because leaks and broken seals in ducts are common energy bandits. Up to 30% of your cooling energy can be lost through the ducts.

Ductless units are affixed to the wall in the room you want to treat. When the cool or warm air comes out, there’s no need to transport the air since it’s already where it needs to be. It completely cuts out the need for ducts.

What if I already have a duct system?

No need to worry. Not all heat pumps are ductless. You can still work with your HVAC contractor to install a heat pump that uses the same duct system of your previous heater or of a central AC system.

However, many of the cost-saving benefits come from the systems being ductless. If your ducts are built into the home and not too unsightly, it might not be a bad idea to insist on a ductless system.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks of ductless that might make you compelled to use the ducts. Ductless units are not aesthetically pleasing, and you’ll need to install one for every room that you want to cool or heat. A duct system would take care of this for you already.

Whether or not you choose to use your current duct system is definitely something you’ll want to talk to a professional about.

We can help you with any of your heat pump needs or questions. Contact Resicon LLC today.

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