What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a cooling and heating system designed to keep your home comfortably warm in the winter and pleasantly cool in the summer. Unlike a furnace, it doesn’t burn fuel to make heat-it moves heat from one place to another. In the winter, a heat pump collects heat from the outside air and transfers it into your home. The heat pump is able to collect heat from the outside air even at temperatures well below freezing. In the summer, it takes heat from inside your home and transfers it outdoors, leaving you cool.

Why are efficiency ratings so important?
Cooling-Heat pumps are rated by a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio )SEER. The higher the SEER, the greater the efficiency and the less it costs you to cool your home. The rating is much like the MPG rating for an automobile. The minimum SEER rating on equipment manufactured today is 13 SEER. Higher SEER rated equipment is widely available and efficiency ratings will vary according to the BTUH size and brand selection. A unit with a high SEER rating may cost more initially but, because of its low operating cost, it will pay for itself over time. Heating-heat pump heating efficiency ratings are expressed as the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Just like SEER rating for cooling, the higher the HSPF rating, the greater the efficiency. HSPF ratings range from about 6.8 to greater than 9.

How does a heat pump operate?
Cooling-In the cooling cycle a heat pump operates the same as a conventional air conditioner. Heat is moved from the inside of a home to the outside. It works by transferring heat from the air inside the home to refrigerant that flows to the outside where the heat is expelled using the outdoor unit. Heating– There is always heat in the outside air even in the winter. A heat pump uses this heat to warm your home. It simply reverses the cooling cycle so that the refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air and releases it indoors.

Dual Fuel Heat Pumps
A dual fuel heat pump system combines a high efficiency heat pump and an existing home furnace to create a system that heats, cools, and saves energy and money. A dual fuel heat pump combines a high efficiency electric heat pump with a natural gas, propane or oil furnace. A dual fuel heat pump can be added onto your present system and boost its overall efficiency. In this type of system, the heat pump offers both summer cooling and primary winter heating. The furnace serves as backup during extremely cold weather when a control automatically switches off the heat pump and activates the furnace. When outdoor temperatures begin to rise, the furnace is shut off and the heat pump becomes the primary heating source once again.

A heat pump saves money and provides peace of mind and is the most advanced and efficient heating and cooling system available today. Upgrading your old heating system to a new electric heat pump can save you up to $1400 per year on heating and cooling costs and most high efficiency models qualify for applicable rebates & tax credits. To see if a heat pump system is right for your home call Chase Heating & Cooling at 503-254-1274 and speak to one of our Home Solutions Advisors to schedule your free in-home estimate.