To put it into the simplest terms, a heat pump is, in fact, an air conditioner — but it’s an air conditioner that can also function in reverse and heat your home should you need to! It is an electrical device that extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another.
Heat pumps are extremely versatile. They sit outside and look almost identical to an air conditioner. When the weather is warm, the heat pump extracts heat from your indoor air —making it fresh — and transfers the heat through the refrigerant and releases it to the outside. In the winter, the heat pump takes that hot air and, instead of venting it to the outside, it pushes it into your home through ducts, warming it up, similar to a furnace.
A heat pump’s main advantage is that it can cool and heat, and when operated correctly, it is a fantastic way to save on utility costs. It’s important to consider this is an advantage to living in a milder climate like the Lower Mainland where we typically experience minor winter weather. Since the outside unit is providing the hot air, a heat pump system does NOT have a furnace. Instead, it utilizes an air handler to circulate the air through your home.
A heat pump would not be a sufficient heat source in an environment where you experience harsh, cold winters. However, it is an excellent home cooling solution, and very popular on the West Coast! Call us today to find out if a heat pump is a right option for your home – 604.552.2990.