These days, more homeowners than ever before are considering installing heat pumps to serve their home’s heating and cooling needs. However, since most homeowners don’t have any experience with heat pumps, they tend to ask a variety of questions about them when they contact us. One of the most common questions we field is whether heat pumps can work effectively here in Virginia. Customers ask this because there are some persistent myths surrounding heat pumps and their ability to operate in cold temperatures. To clear the air, here’s an overview of how heat pumps work and some details about their efficacy here in Virginia.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
Heat pumps offer homeowners an all-in-one solution to their home’s heating and cooling needs. In the summer, they can remove heat from your home and keep you cool. In the winter, they bring heat inside to keep you warm. Mechanically, they’re not very different from conventional air conditioners.
In the summer, a heat pump uses refrigerant to absorb heat from your home’s indoor air. Then, the refrigerant travels outside, where the collected heat gets amplified and expelled into the outdoor environment. In the winter, however, that process reverses.
To heat your home, a heat pump collects available heat energy from the outdoor air, amplifies it, and brings it indoors. Unlike conventional heating systems, a heat pump doesn’t consume any energy to generate heat. As a result, heating your home with a heat pump is tremendously efficient. In optimal conditions, a heat pump can deliver four units of energy for every unit of energy consumed. That’s over four times as energy efficient as the best gas furnace on the market today.
However, there’s a catch. It’s that the colder the outside air gets, the less efficiently a heat pump will operate. It’s because the heat pump has to work harder to collect heat energy from the colder air. And when the temperature drops too low, a heat pump can lose the ability to adequately heat your home.
Are Heat Pumps Effective in Virginia?
In the summer, a heat pump will work just as well as a conventional central air conditioner to cool your home. In many cases, heat pumps are even more efficient than standard central AC systems because they use advanced technologies like inverters and variable-speed motors to lower energy usage wherever possible. They’re also more effective at removing moisture from your home’s air, improving its comfort in the summer.
In the winter, heat pumps are also effective in Virginia. The reason for that is simple. Modern heat pumps can work efficiently at very low temperatures. Some can continue providing heat at outdoor temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit! However, heat pumps do become less efficient than high-end gas furnaces at temperatures of 25 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
The good news, though, is that here in Virginia, we don’t see too many days each year when the temperature drops below freezing. That means a home with a heat pump will rarely, if ever, have to worry about a heat pump losing enough efficiency that it would make a meaningful difference in their energy bills. And it also means Virginia homeowners with heat pumps don’t have to worry about going without heat on cold nights.
It’s important to look at the net benefits of a heat pump’s efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an air-source heat pump could cut your home’s heating and cooling bills by as much as 50%. That includes days of operation in the winter when your heat pump isn’t working at peak efficiency.
Virginia’s Heat Pump Specialists
Eagles HVAC Services is your go-to source for heat pumps in Virginia. We’ve served for over 15 years, offering homeowners the latest in heating and cooling technologies. We offer complete HVAC services, including installation, repair, and maintenance, as well as indoor air quality and water heater services. Plus, we offer commercial HVAC and refrigeration services if you also own a business. We even offer financing on approved credit if you need some help fitting a new heat pump into your household budget.
For the latest in heat pumps here in Virginia, contact the experts at Eagles HVAC Services today!