Heat pumps come with many advantages — primarily that they are one of the most energy-efficient home comfort appliances on the market today. But one heat pump advantage we think homeowners aren’t talking about enough is their ability to provide heat for a Vermont home, even when the New England winter is at its coldest.
Let’s take a look at how heat pumps work, and more specifically how they are able to provide your home with reliable heat on the days when you need to scrape the ice from your windshield and bundle up the kids from head to toe!
The Secret Behind Heat Pump Efficiency
Understanding how heat pumps operate in such cold temperatures starts with understanding how heat pumps are able to operate so efficiently in the first place — heat pumps do not create heat; they displace and move heat.
In the summer, a heat pump will actually remove the heat that your indoor living space has acquired. The indoor air handler absorbs excess ambient heat, and uses a compressed refrigerant as the medium to transfer that heat to the outdoor heat exchanger.
Heat Pumps in the Winter
Come wintertime, this process is reversed. The outdoor heat exchanger collects ambient heat in the air and sends it inside using that same compressed refrigerant. Think of this winter heating process like your refrigerator, but in reverse. A refrigerator actually removes heat from the air tight space inside its walls. Even when that space is already cool, a refrigerator is still working to remove any ambient heat, making the change from cool to cold.
It surprises most homeowners to learn that heat pumps can pull heat from the air in temperatures as low as -13º F — so even on some of Vermont’s coldest days, a heat pump will still provide energy efficient heat!
So, Where Do I Put a Heat Pump?
Another versatile heat pump benefit is that they can be installed directly into the room that needs the added heating and cooling power. Is that hard-to-condition room above the garage in need of a little comfort boost? Install a heat pump there. Perhaps your dining room is just a little too big for your HVAC system to heat and cool evenly. It sounds like a great candidate for heat pump installation!
You can also utilize multiple indoor air handling units with a single outdoor heat exchanger/compressor unit as a replacement for your entire home comfort system. This comes with the added benefit of separating your home into separate zones, where you can customize your comfort based on the preferences of you and your family members.
Is a Heat Pump Right for You? EnergySmart Can Help
As you can see, there are many reasons you may want to switch to heat pumps for your home. But how can you know for sure? An energy audit from EnergySmart of Vermont is a sure fire way to know if your home is the right fit. Through this diagnostic home performance assessment, we will be able to tell if there are other factors contributing to your home comfort and energy efficiency issues, like poor insulation in the attic or crawlspace, or air leaks throughout your home construction.
Upgrading these areas of your home may change the heating and cooling load of your current furnace or air conditioning systems, and we can help you navigate the path to energy efficiency and comfort.