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B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service Blog

Heat Pumps: Do They Really Save You Money?

air-conditioner-money-saver

If you’re considering making a change to your HVAC system this year, one option you’ll probably consider is a heat pump. A heat pump has the huge advantage of working as both an air conditioning and heating system, able to change from one mode to the other with only an adjustment on the thermostat. Heat pumps also have a reputation for helping to reduce energy bills for homes. 

But when you’re looking for a new air conditioning and heating system in Rockville, MD, you’ll want more definitive information about a heat pump. Will it really save you money?

No HVAC system is guaranteed to save you money

This is something we have to make clear upfront. You may hear statistics about how much a particular model of furnace or AC can save a customer, but “can” is the key word. An HVAC system may have incredibly high energy efficiency, but it won’t run at that peak efficiency all the time, and if it isn’t the right match for a house it can end up a massive energy waster. 

Acknowledging this, we can now make some generalizations about how a heat pump can save you money.

Regular cooling & efficient heating

A heat pump is designed like an air conditioner and works in the same fashion: circulating refrigerant between two sets of coils and changing the refrigerant’s pressure and temperature in a compressor. The difference with a heat pump is that it can alter the direction refrigerant moves so that instead of removing heating from the house, it brings heat in. When a heat pump is in cooling mode, it will use approximately the same amount of energy to cool that house that a standard AC of the same size and type does.

The difference is in heating. A heat pump consumes much less electricity to operate than an electric furnace, making it less expensive to run. Depending on the local prices for gas and electricity, a heat pump may even cost less to run than a gas furnace. The difference between a heat pump and an electric furnace in operating costs can often be striking.

The cautionary part

What possible drawbacks are there to getting a heat pump? There are two major ones to consider:

  • A heat pump is more expensive to purchase than either an AC or furnace. Therefore, to get the full value from one, it must replace both the AC and furnace. It’s wasteful to buy a heat pump but only use it for one mode.
  • Because a heat pump must draw heat from outside, it may suffer from an efficiency decline in extremely cold weather. To get around this, there are dual-fuel model heat pumps that have a backup furnace that runs on propane or natural gas.

If you’re interested in installing a heat pump this year, such as in spring to get ready for summer weather, please consult with our team. We’ll help you find out if a heat pump is a good option for your house. We value honesty and integrity in our work, all at a fair price.

Call B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service for all your comfort needs. We are always there when you need us.

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