Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Heat Pump Pros and Cons - How This Equipment Can Work for You

A heat pump is an engineering marvel that allows a single appliance to both heat and cool your home. Before you begin comparing heat pump options, you must decide if this equipment is the best option for your San Diego area home. Here are the top pros and cons to weigh in your mind and help you make your final choice.

Heat pump pros

  • Energy efficiency: The primary benefit of a heat pump is that it performs with high efficiency. Rather than converting energy into heat, this equipment moves (or “pumps”) heat from one place to another, using electricity. This allows heat pumps to transfer more heat energy than the electric energy they consume, potentially resulting in more than 300 percent or more efficiency when heating your home. Cooling efficiency, meanwhile, rivals top-end A/Cs.
  • Lower energy costs: Excellent efficiency means lower energy bills, especially in the winter. While heat pumps are on par with high-efficiency air conditioners, they are around three times more efficient than the highest-end furnaces will ever be.
  • Excellent dehumidification: Heat pumps are excellent dehumidifiers, keeping your home more comfortable in the summer. (Dehumidification generally isn’t an issue in the winter.)
  • More constant temperature: Very little indoor temperature fluctuations occur, especially in the winter, because heat pumps introduce lukewarm air that gradually warms your home instead of super-heated air that results in hot and cold spots. This results in greater indoor comfort.

Heat pump cons

  • Works best in moderate climates: People in cold climates may be out of luck when it comes to standard heat pumps, which operate best when the temperature stays above freezing. All-climate heat pumps are changing this, but the technology isn’t yet widespread. Fortunately, this drawback doesn’t affect you as a resident of beautiful San Diego, which is almost custom-made for heat pump usage.
  • Noise: Heat pump cycles are much longer than furnaces, and sometimes the fan and compressor are on almost constantly. To prevent the noise from getting annoying, look for a low-noise rating when making your purchase and install the heat pump away from windows and doors.
  • Gas vs. electricity. Depending on the relative cost of electricity and natural gas, a heat pump may cost more to operate than a natural gas-fired furnace, even with the much greater efficiency of the former. This is because natural gas costs may be that much cheaper than electricity costs. Talk to your HVAC technician about your choices, and which makes the most sense in the long term. The fact that a heat pump offers both heating and cooling may tip the scales in that direction.

For more information about how much money a heat pump can save you each year, please contact Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air today. We proudly serve customers in the San Diego area.