Heat pumps can be a smart and energy efficient HVAC solution no matter where you live, but they’re especially popular in the South or Southwest where temperatures rarely dip below freezing. Even if you live in colder areas of the country, a heat pump may be the right choice for your home when matched with a furnace or other electric heating device that will only kick in when temperatures reach below freezing. This way, your home will continue to stay warm on the coldest days and run more efficiently for the bulk of the season.
The heat pump is most effective on its own at temperatures around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, either a gas furnace or an air handler with supplemental electric heat will kick in to help heat your home. The most efficient heat pumps like the Trane XV20i can operate in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
The main advantage of a heat pump is energy efficiency. Heat pumps extract heat from the air and move it, efficiently creating a comfortable space regardless of the outdoor temperature. In the summer, a heat pump acts just like an air conditioner and has similar energy output and efficiency based on the model you choose. During the winter, it reverses to pull heat from the air outside and move it inside.
Compared to a traditional furnace and air conditioner home heating and cooling setup, a heat pump can save you as much as $526 a year in energy costs**
The cost to purchase and install a heat pump is usually very similar to a furnace with an air conditioner. There are some exceptions to this, and your local Trane dealer can look at your home and help suggest what system is best.
A heat pump has similar operating costs to an air conditioner in the cooling season. During the heating season, the operating costs for a heat pump can be much lower than a traditional furnace.
The average lifespan of a heat pump is generally 15 years. This is comparable to most furnaces and air conditioners.
*The majority of systems installed prior to 2006 are 10 SEER or lower. Potential energy savings may vary depending on your personal lifestyle, system settings and usage, equipment maintenance, local climate, actual construction and installation of equipment and duct system.
**Based on Energy Star's Savings Calculator for a 3-ton 21 SEER/10 HSPF heat pump and programmable thermostat versus the industry standard 14 SEER/8.2 HSPF 3-ton heat pump and standard thermostat in St. Louis, MO.
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