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Heat Pump Buying Tips
A heat pump is basically a reverse air conditioner. Instead of having cold coils on the inside and heat coils on the outside, this process is reversed. A heat pump has a switch to change from air conditioner mode to heater mode. When in heater mode, it moves hot air into the home, heating it. If the switch is turned to air conditioner mode, the reverse effect occurs, cooling the home. A blower pulls air from inside and circulates it against the coils, then blows it into the home.
A heat pump is energy efficient and can save you money in fuel costs. However, there are certain considerations that should be thought of before determining if this type of device is right for your home. What type of fuel is customary in your area? If you use natural gas, you may want to stay with traditional heating and cooling systems that use that. Heat pumps work on electricity and this type of energy is more expensive than natural gas.
If you are using electricity, though, a heat pump can save on energy costs from your traditional air conditioning and heating units. The installation of a heat pump is more expensive than a traditional unit; however, the heat pump can heat or cool a home up to 2.5 times the amount of an air conditioning unit using the same amount of power. This makes a heat pump a great option for people where electricity is predominantly used.
In what type of climate do you live? If you live in a place where the weather gets extremely cold for long periods of time, a heat pump may not be as energy efficient as it would be if you lived in a moderate climate. If the weather continually gets below about 30° F, the heat pump has to work harder to warm already cold air. A supplemental heating process that runs on electricity may be needed to provide sufficient warmth. This process may make the costs prohibitive.
Heat pumps come in a variety of sizes. The size chosen depends on the size of your home. Most homes need a capacity of two to five tons to adequately heat and cool the home. Make comparisons and check energy efficiency on models before making a decision as to whether a heat pump is right for your home.
Heating pumps can be a valuable addition to your home. Consider the type of climate and the source of fuel used in your area. Make a determination on whether this investment is right for your home by comparing existing energy costs with the savings a heat pump will offer. Keep in mind that installation and purchasing is an initial investment but can greatly pay off over time.