A heat pump is a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system consisting of an indoor and outdoor unit. While it is called a heat pump, the system can be reversed to provide cooling as well as heating of your home or business. Heat pumps are ideal in moderate climates, and are a solid investment for long-term property owners. A heat pump is designed to provide highly-efficient heating and cooling for years and years.
Though heat pumps are more expensive upfront than air conditioners or furnaces, they are also far more efficient, giving back to their owners extra savings over the life of the unit.
At AMS, we offer heat pump installation and annual HVAC maintenance plans that ensure the proper working order of your system.
How a Heat Pump Works
A heat pump is best understood as a unit that moves heat around. Unlike a furnace that generates heat itself, a heat pump simply transfers heat from one area to another. In the summer months, it moves heat from your home into the outdoors, whereby the effect is your house grows cooler. In the winter months, the heat pump draws heat from the air outside (yes, even cold air has energy) and pumps it into your home.
Advantages of a Heat Pump
Because a heat pump does not generate heat on its own, it is far more efficient than a gas or electric furnace. This added efficiency results in significant savings for homeowners, as a heat pump will dramatically reduce overall energy use. As well, since heat pumps merely transfer heat instead of burning fuel, they are considered far more friendly to the environment.
Heat pumps are designed to last 15 years and longer. With annual maintenance, you should get decades of quality use out of your heat pump. Air conditioners and furnaces are not designed to last as long.
With a heat pump, you are installing a single system instead of separate AC and heating units. This adds to the overall efficiency of heating and cooling your home, while also requiring far less maintenance than a traditional oil or natural gas unit.
Disadvantages of Heat Pumps
While heat pumps save their owners money over time, they are indeed costly up front. A heat pump is a more expensive installation than a traditional AC unit or furnace.
In addition, heat pumps operate best under moderate conditions. In extreme weather, a heat pump will have to work harder and harder to find heat to draw upon. In below freezing temperatures, your heat pump will likely need an additional source of heat, such as a furnace, to keep your home warm.
Heat Pump Rebate
Avista Utilities offers homeowners a rebate of $900 when replacing your current HVAC system with a heat pump. This rebate is available for residents in Washington and Idaho.
With this rebate, homeowners can defray the upfront cost of their heat pump installation, saving money now in addition to the money they will save with new lower energy bills.