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Is a Heat Pump Enough to Keep a House Warm in Winter?

A heat pump offers a homeowner a great option for comfort… as well as a bit of a puzzling dilemma. Heat pumps work in a similar fashion to air conditioners: circulating refrigerant to absorb heat from one location and then releasing it in another. During summer, this means removing heat from inside a home and exhausting it outdoors. When winter arrives, the heat pump switches into heating mode so that it works in the opposite way: removing heat from outside and exhausting it inside.

“Wait a minute…” Yes, we know what you’re going to ask. How can a heat pump remove heat from outside during the winter when it’s cold outside? Would a heat pump be able to draw enough heat to provide warmth for a house?

Heat Pump Operation in Winter

First, it is true that heat pumps are not as energy efficient during heating mode as in cooling mode. But they can still provide enough heat for comfort. No matter how cold it is outdoors, there is still thermal energy available as long as there is molecular motion. Modern heat pumps are designed to pull thermal energy out of freezing temperatures without suffering huge drops in efficiency.

The Dual Fuel Option

However, there is always the potential for a heat pump to begin to struggle when the temperatures drop too low. This is especially true if the heat pump has to deal with an older home that’s drafty. In these cases, there’s an alternative option, a dual fuel heat pump. This is a heat pump that has a back-up heating system connected to it, usually a propane furnace. When the heat pump starts to suffer a drop in efficiency, the furnace turns on automatically to make up the difference. The furnace will only run as long as necessary before turning off.

What is the best choice for your house?

Whether your home requires a heat pump, a dual fuel system, a boiler, a furnace, or another option is a decision to leave to heating professionals. Our specialists will make sure you end up with the ideal heater for many winters to come.

Contact Air Creations, Inc. for installation and other services for heat pumps in Westfield, NJ and throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. “We Do It Right!”

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