Up until recently the words “heat pump” and “environmentally-friendly” didn’t go hand-in-hand. Heat pumps had a track record of being dreadful for the environment and for being a terribly inefficient method to heat and cool your home. All of this has fortunately changed, thanks to government standards for heat pump efficiency. The heat pump companies have, for many years, fulfilled these government regulations and have also surpassed them. Nowadays, heat pumps are referred to as the eco-friendly choice for homeowners. Much of how these changes have come about boils down to how heat pumps work.
First, take into consideration how central heating and cooling systems operate. They take in air and heat it/cool it to the temperature you want, according to what you’ve set it at on the thermostat. The systems need a power source to get this job done. This means your central HVAC system needs the power from your electric or gas heat system – sometimes both. It comes as no surprise to anyone with one of these systems that the energy used is significant. Operating your heating and air conditioning can raise your power bill by hundreds of dollars every month. Not only can they be a drain on your wallet, these central systems, along with the energy that they use, deplete the environment.
Now, look at heat pump technology. Heat pumps don’t use energy to heat or cool air to a certain temperature. Instead, they merely move air back and forth. Throughout the winter season, heat pumps bring the warm air from outside – even if it doesn’t feel like it, there is hot air in the outside air on the coldest days – and pumps that warm air into your home until the thermostat achieves your desired temperature. Throughout the summertime, a heat pump works in the opposite manner. The pump takes the warm air from inside your home and sends it outside, until the inside temperature reaches the required level of coolness. Since the heat pump isn’t heating or cooling anything using electrical energy or gas, the operating costs are far lower. And since less energy is utilized, the effect of operating a heat pump is far less on the environment than operating a central heating and cooling system.
All heat pumps aren’t built the same, however. If you are living in an older residence and your heat pump had been installed before the new government regulations, then it might be very inefficient. Even new heat pumps can differ tremendously with regards to their effectiveness. Also, heat pumps aren’t efficient in parts of the country with extreme temperature shifts. Of course, in San Francisco, we’re lucky and our climate is pretty consistent!
That being said, heat pumps are great options for eco-friendly heating and cooling.
The experts at Ortiz Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose and install heat pump systems. To schedule a consultation or a free quote, please contact your local San Francisco HVAC Company, Ortiz Heating & AC at 650.758.4900.
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