Thank goodness for central air conditioning. Without it, the summers here in Fuquay-Varina, NC would be nearly unbearable. So why, as the title suggests, would we recommend you replace your central air conditioner with something called a “heat” pump?
A heat pump will keep you just as cool as a central air conditioner (if not cooler, since it’s a brand-new system with brand-new parts). The difference is that it can also keep you warm, without the need for the conventional air conditioner and furnace setup. That’s ideal for climates like ours.
Do you really need a separate furnace?
In many climates, heating systems take priority over air conditioning, because the winters are longer and more brutal than the summers. But we have a fairly mild climate. It seems unnecessary to have a separate central heating system that does not run for more than a couple of months out of the year.
Typically, your thermostat is set up to control a furnace when you need heat and a central AC when you need air conditioning. That means there are two separate systems that need maintenance throughout the year and have their own unique service needs.
But a heat pump does the job for the whole year, in most cases. Heat pumps can effectively heat a home even as temperatures approach freezing, using the same components as a central air conditioner (plus a few extra).
The efficiency of heat pumps
Before we tell you why a heat pump is so efficient, let’s give you a bit of information about how central air conditioning systems and heat pumps work. The refrigerant in an air conditioning system is not a fuel. Electricity powers motors and a compressor that help to pump refrigerant throughout the system so it can remove heat: absorbing heat from the air inside the home and sending that heat outdoors.
In other words, your central air conditioner moves heat. So why can’t it move heat from outside to indoors? That’s the principle behind heat pumps. It moves heat from the outdoors to the indoors in the winter, a more efficient process than heat generation.
Because the process of heat transfer is so efficient, you’ll notice savings in the winter and in the summer over many other types of systems (if you choose a high-efficiency heat pump).
Comparing heat pumps with electric and gas furnaces
Electric furnaces use electric resistance heating to generate heat for the home. Generating heat uses more energy than just about any other process in the home—it’s part of why the hottest lightbulbs are not recommended for energy-conscious consumers.
Using an electric heating system that moves heat will provide better overall efficiency than one that generates heat, and you should notice the savings adding up.
However, you may not notice much difference in terms of cost when upgrading from a central air conditioner and natural gas furnace setup. Where natural gas is available, it’s a low-cost fuel source in most parts of the country. That’s why heat pumps are often paired with heat pumps to use electric heat until it becomes inefficient, and then to switch to the gas furnace.
Contact Ideal Services Heating & Cooling for the best customer service experience for your heat pump in Fuquay-Varina, NC.