We love helping our customers, and sometimes they help us back. Recently, one of our repeat customers who has sent referrals our way brought our attention to this article from the New York Times. It’s not often you see important HVAC discussions happening in a newspaper, let alone the Paper of Record. The article addresses a topic that’s important to us: the usefulness of a heat pump.
We often encourage customers to look into a heat pump as an alternative to the standard AC-and-furnace model. A heat pump works as both a cooling system and heating system in one, which is a great convenience. But there’s more to it than that. The NYT article is accurate about some of the tremendous benefits of a heat pump and why most homeowners should consider one. We’ll go over some of these points in detail because heat pumps truly are as good, or even better, than they sound.
Heat pumps can cut down on your carbon footprint
As the article notes, in the US, “heating homes and businesses produces about 560 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, or about a 10th of the country’s emissions.” A heat pump helps a home reduce emissions output compared to using other types of heating systems, such as furnaces that use natural gas or oil. A heat pump can produce more CO2 when placed under the extra strain of extreme temperatures—but we rarely deal with those conditions in Tacoma, so a heat pump rarely has to push up its CO2 levels.
Even switching from an electric furnace to a heat pump is beneficial, since a heat pump consumes much less electrical power, and this removes the strain on energy plants.
Heat pumps save money through energy efficiency
A heat pump, when it runs in cooling mode, has about the same energy efficiency as a stand-alone AC. (They use the same efficiency rating, SEER.) In heating mode is where the big efficiency benefits stand out. Compared to electrical resistance heating, which is the type of heating used in an electric furnace, a heat pump consumes far less electricity. This is because a heat pump isn’t channeling massive amounts of voltage through coils to heat them up; it uses electricity to run components that move heat from outside the house—which takes much less voltage. The article notes that switching from a furnace can save up to $948 a year. Even at half that amount, which is more likely in our climate, those are enormous savings.
Is a heat pump right for you?
Because a heat pump is a large investment, we recommend looking into installing one when your current HVAC system is ready to be replaced. Although the article mentions that heat pumps can lose efficiency in extremely cold weather, they are optimized to “operate at 100 percent efficiency all the way down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.” We rarely ever experience cold that extreme, so there few drawbacks to going with a heat pump.
Interested in installing a heat pump in Tacoma, WA for your house? We’re the experienced contractor to work with. We’ll help you find the ideal unit to meet your requirements, save money, and benefit the environment.
Resicon LLC serves the Greater Tacoma Area. Request a free consultation today.