If you live in an area where the winters aren't too cold and the summers aren't too sweltering, then you have some options when it comes to choosing a heating and air conditioning system. While some homeowners will still opt for a full HVAC system with a separate forced-air furnace and AC unit, you might be better off with an alternative: a heat pump.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a single appliance that works as a heater in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer. It is designed to pull heat out of the air on one side, and eject that heat onto the other side. So in the summer, it pulls heat out of your home's air and ejects it outside. In the winter, it removes heat from the outdoor air and pushes it into your home. (Yes, even when the weather is quite brisk outside, there is some heat in the outdoor air.)
Why is a heat pump a good choice in a moderate climate?
People in less-temperate climates (where the winters are cold and summers are scorching) often have heat pumps installed, too, but these people need backup heaters and AC units. The heat pump can't always keep up on the hottest or coldest of days. But since your temperatures are more moderate, you can install a heat pump without worrying about a backup. It can take care of all of your heating and cooling needs. Here are some advantages of heat pumps over traditional HVAC units in this situation:
- You only have to purchase and maintain one appliance instead of two. This will be less costly in the long term.
- Heat pumps save space. They're usually placed on a wall, rather than you having to accommodate a huge unit in your basement and another outdoors.
- Heat pumps are an eco-friendly option. They don't burn fossil fuels; instead, they run completely off of electricity. Especially if your electricity is from a green source, like solar or wind power, this is much better for the planet than burning oil or gas to heat your home.
When the seasons change, you can switch your heat pump from heating to cooling mode with just the touch of a button or flip of a switch (depending on the model.) In most cases, you won't have to worry about running ducts through your home, either. However, if you have a large home, your contractor may recommend either installing several heat pumps or running a few ducts to distribute hot and cold air evenly.
To learn more about heat pumps and why they're an ideal choice for your home, talk to a heating contractor at a company like All American Plumbing & Heating in your area.