Today’s heat pumps are powerful enough to heat an entire house in Downers Grove, IL or any town in the Fox River Valley. Like any major HVAC appliance, you can find the right size to accommodate your home’s square footage and layout. They also offer some benefits over conventional systems.
And, while there are more heat pumps in the United States today than ever before, they’re still relatively new to most homeowners. So, we’ll answer some more questions about how they work and whether one is a good fit for your home.
In this article, we’ll dive into:
The big difference with a heat pump versus a furnace, boiler, or even baseboard heaters is that a heat pump doesn’t burn fossil fuels to generate heat. Instead, it transfers outside heat, or thermal energy, into your house.
Then, in the summer, it does the opposite: Send the heat that’s in your house outside.
That’s the short version of what happens. We get a little more into the technology in this article. Or, you can check out our podcast here about switching systems instead of buying a new central air system.
For as great as today’s heat pumps are, you still need to consider a few limitations. While there are workarounds for these, you still need to know what to watch out for.
One of the biggest drawbacks is cost. A heat pump system often costs much more than the cost of a furnace installation. And, the price goes up even further if you are looking at a mini split setup.
Of course, you’ll make that money back over time with lower energy bills. Those savings will more than make up for the higher upfront cost.
You’ll also find more rebates and promotional offers than ever before if you switch to a heat pump system. And, that’s not only from the manufacturer.
Here in the Fox River Valley, ComEd offers hundreds to thousands of dollars in incentives for homeowners to switch to more energy-efficient HVAC solutions. Heat pumps always fit that bill.
Today’s strongest heat pumps can still keep your home warm even when it’s negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit outside. But, since they rely on heat transfer instead of generating warmth, there’s a limit as to how well they can perform when it gets colder than that.
And, in Illinois, it can get much colder than that. When it does, your heat pump can’t always keep up.
Now, there are some other factors to consider. Even if it gets so cold that your heat pump can’t produce more warmth, there’s already plenty of heat in your home. So, it takes a little while before you notice it starts getting chilly.
It’s also coldest in the middle of the night. Usually, everyone’s asleep, and by the time you get up it’s warmer. You may not even notice the times when the heat pump isn’t working.
However, that’s still not ideal. But, there’s a good solution to this problem.
Our best recommendation for Fox River Valley homes is a dual-fuel heating system. It’s the best of both worlds: The efficiency and comfort of a heat pump with the uninterrupted heat you get with a gas furnace.
Here’s how it works:
You’ll use a heat pump almost all the time. Like we said, it has to be way below zero before today’s models stop working.
But, when it does get that cold, your system automatically switches over to gas heat. You can set your system to switch over at whatever temperature you want so you don’t risk losing any warmth.
In our experience, most systems only need to switch over to gas once or twice a year. And, even then, it doesn’t stay on for that long.
As a result, you’re almost always using the most inexpensive and energy-efficient HVAC system possible. But, you’re also covered for those few times during the winter when that’s not strong enough to do the job.
A heat pump is far more energy efficient than a gas furnace. We’ve seen energy bills get reduced by a third or even 50 percent over the winter. That’s because the heat pump uses a heat transfer process rather than burning fossil fuels to create heat.
With the transfer, your system uses heat that’s already there. Even when it feels cold outside, there’s still some heat outdoors. The heat pump gathers that heat, uses a compression process to amplify it, and then sends it into your home.
This process only needs a little bit of electricity to work. It’s much more efficient than burning gas or oil. Or using an electric heater that heats up coils.
Want to learn more about heat pumps and if one is the right choice for your home in the Fox River Valley? Compass Heating and Air is a Daikin Comfort Pro, Mitsubishi Elite Diamond Dealer, and all-around expert when it comes to mini split installations in Downers Grove and other nearby towns. Call (630) 504-8688 or click below for a free consultation.