Heat pumps are an important way to heat a home, offering significant energy cost savings while at the same time helping homeowners reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, some misconceptions persist surrounding heat pumps, which keep owners from reaping their full benefits.
Some individuals mistakenly assume that heat pumps create excessive noise levels; this is simply not the case since heat pumps operate at lower decibel levels than microwaves.
To explore more about the pros and cons of heat pumps, check out this post from Diamondback Plumbing: https://www.diamondbackplumbing.com/blog/heat-pump-pros-and-cons/.
1. They are expensive
Like with any HVAC system, heat pump installation costs will depend on factors like climate zone and whether you choose air or geothermal heat pumps. Before making your decision, be sure to get price quotes from multiple contractors and compare them.
When correctly installed, heat pumps are more cost-effective than traditional electric resistance heating methods, using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Upgrading insulation before installing one of these units could cut upfront costs by as much as 60%.
2. They don’t work well in cold climates
Though heat pumps might not perform as effectively in subzero temperatures, evidence shows they are still an ideal option in cold climates. These systems don’t rely on fuel combustion to produce heat; they use only electricity for their operation and transfer existing thermal energy between cool spaces to warm ones.
In Norway alone last year, 50 heat pumps were sold for every 1,000 residences. And despite initial reservations about electric heating solutions, even homeowners in cold states realize their benefits.
Homeowners turned to heat pumps during recent bitterly cold temperatures for warmth and comfort, operating much like an air conditioning unit when in cooling mode – showing they could withstand even the chilliest conditions.
A study conducted in homes with heat pumps demonstrated they reduced energy usage by as much as 50% – further proving why such energy-saving systems make smart choices in cold climates.
3. They generate excessive noise
It’s commonly mistaken that heat pumps create an undesirable amount of noise. Modern heat pumps are, in fact, engineered with advanced technologies that minimize operational noise.
The sound level of a properly maintained heat pump typically ranges from 40 to 60 decibels, which is quieter than an average conversation.
The installation of a heat pump also plays a significant role in noise reduction. When installed correctly, with the outdoor unit properly situated and insulated, the noise level can often be reduced further. Therefore, the belief that heat pumps are excessively noisy is largely unfounded and should not deter prospective users.
4. They require a backup heating system
Although it may be true for some models with emergency heat built-in, one of the most widespread misconceptions regarding heat pumps is that they need a backup heating system.
Most homes don’t need this extra heating source, as emergency settings only activate when outdoor temperatures fall below certain thresholds. When this happens, they switch on another layer of resistance heating known as heat strips to boost temperatures back up again.
Heat pumps can provide homeowners in cold climates with numerous energy efficiency advantages and benefits. If you’re curious to learn more, connect with HVAC professionals in your area who can help determine whether a heat pump would suit your home or business and recommend contractors with experience installing it.
5. They don’t work well with low insulation
It is a common misconception that heat pumps don’t function efficiently with low insulation. Heat pumps, like any other HVAC system, work best in an insulated environment because insulation helps to retain heat, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. That said, it doesn’t mean heat pumps won’t operate in less insulated spaces.
They can still function and provide heat, but they may have to work harder and longer, resulting in higher energy consumption and costs. Therefore, while proper insulation enhances a heat pump’s efficiency, lack of it doesn’t invalidate its use.
Improving your home’s insulation can enhance any heating system’s performance, not just heat pumps. It’s best to view insulation as an energy-saving complement to heating rather than a mandatory requirement for heat pump operation.