Heat Pump. A term that us Cincinnatians might not be too familiar with? In the world of Heating and Cooling, Heat Pumps are becoming some of the most popular and innovative ways to heat and cool your home. According to energy.gov, “Air-source heat pumps have been used for many years in nearly all parts of the United States, but until recently they have not been used in areas that experienced extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. However, in recent years, air-source heat pump technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions.”


So, What exactly is a heat pump? An electric heat pump is a single unit that both heats and cools your home. A heat pump is the most efficient heating and cooling system available today because it generates more than one unit of heat for each unit of energy it consumes. Heat pumps use the same refrigerant system as air conditioning units, but are able to reverse the rotation to emit heat instead of cool air. They transfer heat from one place to another; in summer months, the heat pump takes warm air from inside the house and pumps it outside, in the cooler months, doing the opposite; taking warmth out of the outside air and pushing it inside the house. Perfect for milder climates as a heat pump does not generate heat, it moves already established heat energy into different spaces.


If it does both heat and cool, why is it only called a heat pump? 

While it can be confusing that this system does both heat and cool…remember to reverse the 2 words; it pumps heat. A heat pump pumps heat. In summer, it pumps heat from inside your house out. In winter, it pumps heat from outside in!


Wait a second…there is heat outside in winter?

Yes! Even when it gets chilly, the air contains a percentage of the heat needed, and a heat pump is able to extract that energy and pump it into your home.


Should I have a back-up option in case the climate and weather is not right for my heat pump?

Typically a heat pump operates most efficiently at temperatures above the low 30s. In colder climates, some choose to use supplemental heat, but it may not be necessary. The technicians at River View Heating & Cooling will be able to accurately assess your particular situation and help you determine if a back-up heat source is necessary.


I’ve heard a heat pump produces ‘colder’ air than say, a gas furnace…is this true?

With a heat pump system, you experience completely different technology and science and getting used to that can be strange. A heat pump doesn’t give a ‘blast’ of warm air for a few minutes and then shut off, instead, it produces a constant, less intense, steady stream of heated (or cooled) air. Many who use heat pumps report a more consistent comfort level and tend to not experience the ‘too hot-too cold’ ups and downs of other HVAC systems.


Ready for more information and to see if a heat pump system might be the switch you need to make to achieve ultimate comfort and maximum efficiency? Contact Riverview Heating and Cooling, providing service to the Greater Cincinnati Area, to speak to our helpful and experienced staff about making a switch.

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