2 Common Questions About Heat Pumps

Posted on: 18 November 2015


Heat pumps are efficient units for heating the home. If you are considering this option for heating your home, you will have some decisions to make. Below, you will find some help answering some of those questions.

Will the heat pump keep your home warm enough during the coldest winter days?

In very cold climates, heat pumps can struggle to heat the home. Know that many heat pumps come with emergency heating systems to help keep the home at a comfortable temperature. These units are typically installed inside the home. When temperatures dip so low that the external heat pump cannot provide enough warmth, this unit will kick on and take over the supply of heat.

This emergency heat system will also provide a back-up system for if the external unit is damaged by a fallen tree, flood or freeze-up.

Note: Some units don't offer an automatic emergency heat setting – in such cases, the emergency heat needs to be turned on manually.

If you live in a climate in which temperatures go well below freezing, supplemental heating sources are recommended. Baseboard heaters, kerosene heaters, wood burning stoves or other electric heat units can be used to supplement the heat from the heat pump.

Where will the unit be placed outside?

Your installation professional will help you decide the best place to install the unit. Typically, the unit is positioned in an area that isn't prone to flooding, is protected from falling debris and snow, and up off of the ground to keep water from puddling around it and snow from piling up around it.

If you don't have an area that is protected from overhead hazards, you can build or purchase protective housing for the unit. This will provide cover for the top but allow for free air-flow through the sides to keep the system operating as it should. If you attempt to fully enclose the heat pump unit, it will not function as it could because it won't get enough fresh air.

Note: If you live in a flood plain, make sure to add the new heat pump to your flood insurance policy. If the unit is not added to the policy, the insurance may not cover the cost of replacement or repair if was to get damaged by a flood.

Talk with a local heat pump specialist such as Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. to learn more about how you can save on the cost of heating and cooling your home by installing a heat pump.