Can you believe November is already almost over? By now you’ve probably had a heat pump inspection and you’re getting ready to turn your heat pump on (if you haven’t already!). In the winter, heat pumps operate basically like reverse air conditioners, pulling heat from the outside air and moving it into your home. This allows heat pumps to run much more efficiently than furnaces and other fuel burning heat pumps, provided you use them properly!
Since heat pumps are still gaining traction in our area, it’s common for people to have questions about how they work. And while they’re not that much of a jump from furnaces, there are some key differences that tend to confuse many new buyers.
Do heat pumps save money in the winter?
Some of the most common questions we get from people new to heat pumps are about why their heat pumps don’t seem to be saving them as much money as they expected. When we go out and inspect the heat pump, we always find the same thing – whoever installed their pump originally told them about the backup electric heater (referred to as the emergency heater), but didn’t properly explain how to use it. We’ve even had people who upgraded from electric furnaces to heat pumps only to accidentally rely primarily on their electric backup heaters – simply because they didn’t know any better!
Why is my heat pump blowing cold air?
Another common question people have about their heat pump stems from the fact that when it gets colder, most heat pumps stop blowing hot air, instead blowing lukewarm (and sometimes cool-feeling) air. Fortunately this doesn’t happen a lot in the Maryland / DC area, but if it ever occurs it doesn’t mean your heat pump is broken – part of what makes heat pumps so reliable is they don’t rely on blasts of super hot air to heat your home whenever the temperature dips. Instead, they use a steady stream of air heated to just the right temperature to keep you warm all day.
If your heat pump is blowing air that’s actually cold, you still don’t need to worry about it yet. About every hour, your heat pump defroster will kick on. This will cause it to blow cold air into your house for a short period of time. Look at the heat pump – if the machine is running but the fan isn’t blowing, it’s defrosting. Again, this is when the emergency heater will kick on – if it doesn’t, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing for Maryland heat pump repair!
If you’ve been thinking about switching your home’s furnace for an energy efficient heat pump, don’t wait. Using heat pumps in the winter can save you considerable amounts of money, provided you use them properly. If you want to install a heat pump in Maryland or DC, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing today!