Everything you need to know before installing a heat pump in your Texas home: the good, bad and ugly
Are you thinking about installing a heat pump in your home? Heat pumps are 30 to 60 percent more efficient than other residential furnaces and air conditioners. But it’s not for everyone.
So is a heat pump right for your home?
In this article, we will discuss pros and cons of heat pumps so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to install one in your Houston-area home.
What is a heat pump?
When it comes to deciding whether to install a heat pump vs. furnace, it’s important to understand how each system works. Heat pumps do what they say: they pump warm air. In the summer, they pump warm air out of your home. In the winter, they pump warm outdoor air into your home.
When you have a furnace, on the other hand, it creates heat by warming the air that passes through it. This is done through a heat exchanger that is powered by natural gas, heating oil or electricity.
Heat pumps are typically operated with electricity. Since they don’t create heat—they only move heat—they are generally more efficient than a standard furnace.
Common types of heat pumps
There are 3 main types of heat pumps on the market today, including air to air, air to water and air to ground (or geothermal).
- Air to Air. Air to air heat pump systems are popular, simple and inexpensive to install.
- Air to Water. Air to water heat pumps are great for homes that are located near a water source, such as a lake or a river where the property owner also has the rights to the water source. These heat pumps transfer heat from your home to the water. These are more energy-efficient than air to air heat pumps, but typically cost more to install.
- Air to Ground. Air to ground heat pumps are another type of geothermal heat pump. These pumps utilize the constant cool temperatures of the earth in order to effectively transfer heat. These are also more energy-efficient but more costly to install.
Benefits of heat pumps
✔ They can save you as much as 60 percent on your home heating bill. Heat pumps that are properly installed and sized for the home can achieve more than 300 percent energy efficiency.
✔ They are less costly to install compared to a new furnace or central air conditioning unit.
✔ They provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer in a single unit.
✔ They dehumidify air in the summer.
Disadvantages of heat pumps
✘ They must be properly installed and sized for your home in order to be effective and energy-efficient.
✘ They contain an outdoor and indoor unit. The outdoor unit creates just as much noise as a standard air conditioner condenser.
✘ They aren’t as effective in harsh climates that regularly see winter temperatures below 32 degrees. (Fortunately, this isn’t an issue for us in Houston and South Texas.)
✘ The air pumped through the registers is cooler than the hot air produced by a furnace.
✘ In colder climates, heat pumps must be purchased with a backup source of heat, usually supplemental electric heating, which results in less energy-efficiency on extremely cold days and nights.
Heat pump vs. furnace installation in Houston
Houston’s mild winter temperatures make heat pump a smart idea for many residents. The added benefit is that during the summer, the heat pump will help control the humidity inside your home, which will make it feel cooler.
Here at Richmond’s Air, we can help you determine if a heat pump is right for your home. We can properly size and install the system. Once your heat pump is installed, you won’t need a second air conditioning unit. Instead, your heat pump will provide you with all the heating and cooling you need throughout the year.