Homeowners tend to have a love-hate relationship with hot air; we want more of it in the winter and less in the summer. A heat pump has the unique ability to use hot air to its advantage, no matter the season. It’s also a highly efficient heating and cooling system, ideal for milder climates like that of the Charlotte area.
Instead of creating conditioned air out of energy generated from fuel, heat pumps move air around. And that’s exactly why they are so efficient at heating and cooling a home.
In the summer heat pumps draw hot air out of the home and exhaust it outside. In the winter, these systems pull hot air from the outdoors and use it to heat the home. In fact, for every dollar that you spend for electricity to fuel a heat pump, you can get as much as $4 worth of heat in return. That’s a highly effective use of hot air.
However, gas furnaces, for example, can only use a percentage of the total cost of fuel they consume. A furnace rated 80 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) can only use 80 percent of the total fuel consumed to produced conditioned air. The other 20 percent is lost through leaks or up the chimney, which is a waste of conditioned air and your energy dollars.
You might wonder how heat pumps pull heat out of winter air. While most people don’t feel any warmth in the air when temperatures drop, there is useful heat present in temperatures down to about 35 degrees. This makes the efficiency of heat pumps ideal for North Carolina’s mild winters.
A backup heating system is generally required to take care of heating on those colder days. A heat pump is manufactured with electric resistance coils that can take over heating on cold days, but it’s an inefficient system and not recommended for regular use. However, a backup furnace fueled by natural gas can efficiently take over heating duties when temperatures drop below 35 degrees.
Are you seeing hot air in a different light? To find out more about air-source heat pumps, contact the experts at Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical.