When it comes to choosing a heat source for winter, you typically have three options. It is important to also understand that when it comes to choosing a heat pump, there are only a few climates that are truly going to benefit from these types of units. In most cases, these climates are going to be those that have mild winters with the occasional drop below freezing. Heat pumps can be large enough to heat your whole house, while they can also be small enough to heat a particular room or area in a house. You have three options when it comes to choosing heat pumps and these are:
- Air Source Electric Heat Pumps
- Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps
- Geothermal Heat Pumps
If you live in an area that tends to have mild winters, but there are those occasional drops below freezing, then you are going to want to choose a heat pump that has a little more power behind it. The best heat pump for this type of climate is the dual-fuel heat pump. When the temperature stays above 35 degrees, this heat pump will use electricity. When the temperature drops below this mark, the system automatically detects that change and switches to gas to fuel the heat pump. This is perhaps one of the most economical heating systems that you could by because it gives you the best of both worlds.
Air source electric heat pumps are used in several different types of locations and climates, but they tend to not perform as well when there are temperatures consistently below freezing. However, there are new "Cold Climate" heat pumps that may work, but there consistency is still being tested. If you live in a warmer climate and only have the occasional cold days that you need a heater for, then the air source electric heat pump can provide you with one and half to three times more heat energy than the unit consumes in electricity. The electric heat pump will turn on when temperatures fall below forty degrees. The electric resistance coils in the heat pump are similar to those you find in your toaster, which is why they are not as efficient in extremely cold areas.
Geothermal heat pumps have been in use since the 1940s. These systems are able to use the heat from the earth as a heat source, instead of the cold outside air. Geothermal heat pumps are actually quiet versatile in that they can use both ground and water as a heat source. Additionally, these heat pumps may also be able to provide you with hot water if the heat pump is equipped. There are also models that have two-speed compressors as well as varying fans. These heat pumps are also quiet, last longer than most and require little maintenance. It is believed that although these heat pumps are more expensive to install, the cost is returned to you in 5-10 years based on how much you save in heating and cooling costs.
As you can see, heat pumps and be quite efficient and some types are more efficient than others. They type of heat pump that you would require depends on where you live as well as how much you are willing to spend. A little more money spent can go a long way in getting you a more efficient heat source.