What Makes a Heat Pump a Good Choice for Your Home?

November 29, 2016

Considering how bitterly cold the Des Moines winters can get sometimes, it's easy to assume a heat pump just wouldn't be practical in our area. In reality, today's high-efficiency heat pumps can keep you just as comfortable as a furnace.

Efficiency, Comfort, and Safety

Heat pumps are the most efficient of all electric heating systems. If you heat with an electric furnace or electric baseboard heaters, installing a heat pump could cut your heating bills by 30 percent or more. In the milder weather of spring and autumn, heat pumps are often more efficient than gas and other fuel-burning furnaces.

Heat pumps produce a gentler, less intense heat than that produced by fuel-burning furnaces. As a result, they don't dry your air, so you're less likely to suffer from dry skin, dry eyes, other common wintertime complaints related to low humidity. When used for air conditioning, heat pumps work identical to a standard cooling only air conditioner.

Because they don't burn fuel, heat pumps pose no threat of potentially deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gas leakage. They also produce less pollution than fuel-burning systems, making them a "greener" option.

Know Your Options

In our cold-winter climate, it's important to choose a heat pump that can remain 100 percent efficient in low temperatures. In less advanced heat pumps, the electric auxiliary heat kicks on in temperatures much below freezing. This makes the system no more efficient than any other electric heating system.

Dual-fuel heat pumps are another option. In these systems, a heat pump is combined with a gas furnace and the system switches between the two based on which heating method is more efficient for the weather. On mildly chilly to around 20 degrees, the heat pump is usually the most efficient system. During the coldest weeks of winter, the furnace is more efficient.

If you're looking for optimal efficiency, consider ground source (geothermal) heat pumps. These systems use the ground, rather than the air, as a heat sink.

For more guidance on finding the ideal heating system, contact us at Lozier Heating & Cooling in the Des Moines area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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