The Basics of Winter Heat Pump Use

A heat pump can spare homeowners a significant amount of expense on their winter heating costs. You may already be aware that a gas or electric furnace warms your home by passing air over heated coils. However, a heat pump performs much differently.

Heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the air through refrigeration coolant, which is then compressed to significantly increase its temperature. Now, as air passes over the hot coolant, it becomes heated. So how does a heat pump work in the winter when the air outside is so cold?

How does a heat pump work in the winter?

If a heat pump extracts heat from the air, how does it work when the air outside is very cold. Well, even in colder temperatures, outside air contains a specific measure of heat. Most heat pumps can productively assimilate heat from the outside air down to as cold as 20 degrees or even lower!

And, while we’re at it, heat pumps also work to cool your home in the warmer months. In those warmer parts of the year, such as late spring, a heat pump utilizes refrigerant to retain heat from inside your home and transports it outside. You could say a heat pump simply works by transporting heat from one space to another.

Since heat pumps work on less energy, they can reduce those higher electric bills that you would commonly experience while with a furnace.

What about those frigid times of the year?

Although heat pumps are quite efficient in cold temperatures, there comes a point where gas or electric furnaces are more productive. That’s what makes dual fuel systems such a popular choice for heating homes in regions where temperatures drop drastically in parts of the winter. With these units, heat pumps are used throughout most of the winter, helping to keep costs lower. A gas or electric furnace is used as needed when the extreme cold is too much for the heat pump to handle productively and efficiently.

If you have any questions regarding how a heat pump performs in the winter, or maybe you need to schedule your system for maintenance to prepare for the coming winter season, contact Carney and Son today.