A Heat Pump Is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home With Electricity – Here’s Why
If you’re not looking for the most efficient, inexpensive way to heat and cool your home, you may be wasting a good deal of money on your monthly energy costs. While there are certainly many options to choose from when it comes to heating methods, the reality is that they’re not all created equal. And while there may be reasons other than energy efficiency for why you use the heating you do, such as ease of access to a fuel source, it’s worth considering the cost savings.
So what’s the best option to choose from? Well, it depends: does your home have access to electricity? If the answer is, yes—as it is for most—a heat pump is the most efficient way to heat a home with electricity. To explain why, we’ll have to discuss exactly how a heat pump works and why it stands head and shoulders above every other method for heating a home.
First, What Do We Mean By Energy Efficiency?
With regard to energy usage, “efficiency” refers to the amount of return you get on your investment, so to speak. That is to say, how much heat energy is generated compared to how much fuel is used. Different fuel sources have different efficiency. For example, propane burns extremely hot, which means you need to use comparatively little of it to generate enough heat to warm your home to the desired temperature. This makes it an extremely efficient method of heating. On the other hand, burning wood takes a long time and a lot of fuel to achieve similar results. That’s why it is considered inefficient, as far as heating methods go.
Normally, heating a home with electricity is actually extremely inefficient. This is because electric heaters traditionally use resistance heating. This method involves sending an electrical current through a ceramic plate or similar element. The heating element resists the electrical current, which is what causes heat energy to be generated. Unfortunately, it requires a lot of electrical energy to generate a relatively small amount of heat. This is why the most efficient way to heat a home with electricity is to use a heat pump.
To discover exactly how efficient or inefficient a heating method is, look at a device’s annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE rating. This is a measurement of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is an advanced method of heating the home using ambient outdoor heat energy. It consists of two parts: an outdoor unit, which contains the same type of coolant that your refrigerator does, and an indoor unit, which vents the heated or cooled air into the room. Even when it’s extremely cold outdoors, there’s still plenty of ambient heat energy in the air: as that air moves across the coils, the refrigerant chemical draws out that heat energy. The refrigerant is then pumped into the indoor unit, where it releases the heat into the air inside the home. In this way, it causes the room to heat up.
What Are the Advantages?
By operating in this manner, a heat pump has a significant advantage over all other methods of heating: it doesn’t have to generate its own heat. Even highly efficient propane heaters still need to burn combustible fuel to create heat; this means that while it’s relatively cheap to operate them, you still have to pay to do so. Heat pumps don’t generate heat, so you’re only paying for a small amount of electricity to move the heat from place to place, which is significantly more energy efficient.
Heat pumps have another advantage over other methods of heating: they are used to target individual zones of the home. So even if other heating methods operate efficiently, they tend to waste a lot of energy heating rooms that no one is currently occupying. For example, if the family in a home likes to spend a cold evening cuddled up on the couch in the living room, enjoying a movie night, then there’s no need to heat any other rooms except that one. Maybe, after a while, someone will decide to head to bed. If so, they can switch on another heat pump in their bedroom. Now, only two rooms will be heated, saving a great deal on energy costs.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of all that a heat pump has is that it doesn’t just heat the home. Its ability to draw ambient heat energy from the air means that it can also be reversed and serve as an air conditioner. This means that you won’t just save energy during the cold winter months: your savings will continue throughout the year. There’s no other technology quite like that.
How Do I Get a Heat Pump Installed?
Now that you’ve discovered the most efficient way to heat a home with electricity, you might be wondering how you can get a heat pump of your own installed in your home. To do so, you’ll first want to contact Entek HVAC. Our years of experience in the heating and cooling business mean that we are well-versed in home energy efficiency. Ask us to perform an inspection of your home, and we’ll be able to make recommendations with regard to improving the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, not just in heat pump installation.
Once the inspection is complete, we can give you a quote for installing the right heat pump for your home. If you need more than one heat pump, we can help with that too. Should you decide to move forward, they’ll then be able to perform the installation and also offer regular maintenance to ensure that your heat pump is operating with maximum efficiency for many years to come.