Your Heat Pump Probably Will Need Backup This Winter: Here’s How It Works

During most parts of the Cleveland winter, your air-source heat pump likely will do a good job of keeping your home nice and comfortable, but when harsher temperatures set in, heat pumps usually need some help. Some people assume that heat pumps will not work in their area because they hear they can’t heat during colder temperatures; however, auxiliary heating sources are a feature of most heat pumps and can eliminate this shortcoming. 

Heat pumps don’t burn fuel to create heat, as in traditional forced-air heating systems. They absorb heat energYour Heat Pump Probably Will Need Backup This Winter: Here's How It Worksy from the air outside and transfer it inside, using the unique heat-exchange capability of refrigerant. If the outside temperature drops too low, however, standard air-source heat pumps struggle to provide comfortable indoor heating.

Each heat pump has a balance point – a point where the required amount of heat matches the amount of heat that your heat pump can produce. After this balance point is reached, the heat pump generally will switch to auxiliary heating.

Heat pumps can use various types of supplemental heating. The best choice for your home is the fuel source that’s the most cost efficient for your area. The default backup heating is an electric heating element – similar to the wires in a toaster – that simply heat up. Increasingly, however, homeowners are opting for a dual-fuel backup heating system, which employs a gas furnace. These days in most parts of the country, natural gas is cheaper to use than electricity, even in a heat pump that provides 300 percent heating efficiency.

Heat pumps are one of the most cost-efficient and energy-efficient ways to heat your home. With careful consideration and selection of auxiliary heating sources during the coldest part of the winter, the combination of heat pumps and supplemental heating can remain the best option to keep your home warm.

Need help deciding the best supplemental heat source for your heat pump? Contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing NOW to schedule a consultation and an estimate with one of our HVAC professionals.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “schatzy/Shutterstock”