Heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice for home comfort today, principally because they offer a two-in-one deal: heating and cooling. However, some customers feel reluctant to consider a heat pump for their Northern Virginia heating and cooling, and instead gravitate toward older systems like furnaces and air conditioners. This reticence comes from common misunderstandings about heat pumps that we would like to address.
Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. has seen firsthand how effective heat pumps are at providing families with comfort and savings. Although a heat pump isn’t the ideal choice for every home, you should still consider one when it’s time for your new heating and cooling installation.
Here are some of the myths about heat pumps:
Myth: Heat pumps are just a heater and air conditioner packaged together
Because heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, people often think that they are two separate units put together in the same container. Actually, a heat pump is one mechanism that uses the same process—heat exchange—to perform its two functions. Essentially, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can change the direction it moves heat: while in AC mode, it moves heat from inside a home and puts it outside; in heating mode, it moves heat from outside and puts it inside.
Myth: Heat pumps are essentially useless in cold weather
During heating mode, the action of heat exchange moves heat from the outside to the inside. This makes it easy to imagine that during cold weather, the heat pump won’t work as a heater: where is it getting warmth from the outdoor air? However, as long as there is molecular motion in the air, there is heat available for heat exchange. Heat pumps can lose efficiency when the temperature drops below freezing, but they are far from useless; and in milder cold weather they are very effective. Most heat pumps have a back up heat system to make sure your home is warm no matter the weather.
Myth: Heat pumps won’t pay off their installation costs
First, as far as air conditioning goes, heat pumps are the same efficiency as a standalone air conditioner of comparable size. Second, heat pumps are a very efficient way to heat your home. Especially when compared to electric furnaces, heat pumps are extremely energy-efficient. Most heat pumps will pay back their installation costs in three years.
Our trained technicians at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. have brought quality cooling and heating to Northern Virginia since 2001. You can trust us to find the heat pump that will keep you and your family comfortable all year long.