Does A Heat Pump Make Sense For Your Home?

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If you're in the market for a new heating system, you undoubtedly have considered a new energy-efficient electric heat pump rather than the traditional gas or electric-powered furnace. However, deciding if this is the best choice for your family can be challenging. Both types of systems have their good and not-so-good points.

How a heat pump works

Unlike a traditional furnace that creates warm air using electric or gas-powered combustion, a heat pump provides warm air to your home by transferring warmth from the ground outside your home into the interior of your home. Depending on what part of the country you live in, a heat pump may have an auxiliary traditional system that kicks in to provide heat when the ground temperature dips too low.

Pros and cons of using a heat pump to heat and cool your home

The primary advantage to choosing a heat pump system is its energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a heat pump uses 30 to 40 percent less electricity than a traditional electric-powered furnace, depending on your climate and how warm you keep your house. That's not only kind to the environment, but lessens your electric bill. A heat pump also provides a more even distribution of heat. You won't have those hot and cold pockets you often find with a traditional furnace.

The air circulated by a heat pump is more moist than air generated by a traditional furnace. That reduces the need for a humidifier and helps to prevent dry skin and static electricity during the height of the cold weather season. Lastly, a heat pump can be used to both heat and cool your home, so you don't have to invest in two separate systems. During the summer, warm air from your house can be transferred outside and exchanged with cool air from under the ground surrounding your home.

However, a heat pump system costs quite a bit more than a traditional furnace. In addition, a heat pump requires more regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly than a furnace. Lastly, if you live in an extremely cold climate, you may not see much benefit from a heat pump, as the auxiliary unit, which is similar to a traditional furnace, will have to kick in often to help out the heat pump.

While a heat pump isn't the right choice for every home, this type of heating system is very energy efficient, combines both heating and cooling, and provides evenly-distributed heat to all of your rooms. Look at websites like for more information.