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What to Consider When Upgrading to a Heat Pump

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Posted December 3, 2022
Things to consider when buying a heat pump

Does your home rely on a traditional furnace? Have you ever wondered if a heat pump would be better for your house (and your budget?) Does one heating system have an advantage over the other? You don’t have to be an HVAC expert to find answers. Air Specialist can help you weigh the pros and cons of upgrading to a new heat pump.

What’s the difference?

A heat pump and a furnace are both effective at keeping your Houston home comfortable. A furnace works by burning fuel to heat the air that is blown through your home in the cooler months. A heat pump, on the other hand, extracts heat from the outside air and distributes it around your home. In the summer months, it switches directions and instead removes hot air from your home, leaving cool air behind.

Heat pump advantages

Heat pumps can be particularly efficient in warmer climates, like Houston, where there’s plenty of heat to extract from the outdoor air. Other advantages include cost and efficiency:

Heat pumps may have lower heating and cooling costs. Heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces at heating your home, so theoretically you should enjoy lower heating bills. As the cost of gas continues to increase, the electric heat pump can be an economical alternative.

Heating and cooling in one unit. Heat pumps work by moving heat from one location to another, which means they operate as air conditioners in the summer. There’s no need to invest in a separate A/C unit when you have a heat pump.

Heat pumps do a better job reducing humidity indoors. If there’s one thing Houston residents understand, it’s humidity. During the heat pump cooling process, the unit removes moisture from your indoor air through condensation and sends that water down the drain.

Heat pumps are a greener alternative. Heat pumps tend to use less energy. Because they rely on electricity rather than gas or coal, they are kinder to the environment.

Heat pump disadvantages

The initial price is higher. Heat pumps cost more than gas furnaces. However, most Houston homes also require an air conditioner, and you’re getting both heating and cooling when you purchase a heat pump.

Heat pumps use more electricity. If electricity prices go up, you’ll take a hit on your utility bills. Heat pumps also stop working if the electricity goes out.

Heat pumps must work harder when the air outside is colder. The colder the air is outside, the harder the heat pump must work to extract heat. Fortunately, this is not a problem during most Houston winters. If we get a record-breaking cold snap, though, your heat pump may have to switch to a backup heating source, which can be more expensive to run than the regular heat pump mechanism.  

Heat pump savings

Earlier this year, Congress passed the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to reduce climate-warming emissions. Included in this act are tax credits and rebates for heat pumps. You may qualify for additional savings if you meet certain income requirements.

If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. Air Specialist can help you determine which heating and cooling method is best for your home and your budget. Contact us to schedule an appointment. Air Specialist brings more than a century of experience to every service call. You can depend on us.


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