Due to their rising popularity because of their promising effects, heat pumps are becoming the talk of the crowd. As a homeowner, you might be one of those enticed by its benefits for your residence. Ever wondered about heat pump pros and cons? You’ve come to the right place!
Before we put the advantages and disadvantages of heat pumps into the spotlight, we must first understand how they work. We can discover how it is unique in its function and ability by that. We will also be highlighting its main differences from your traditional ACs and furnaces. What gives the heat pump an edge in the game? Read further and find out below!
How do they work?
Before we jump on to the different heat pump pros and cons, let us first analyze how this system works for your home.
Heat pumps are an innovative technology utilized here in Toronto, in other parts of Canada and even worldwide. They provide efficient cooling or heating depending on your home’s needs. Heat pumps use electricity to operate. They extract heat/cold energy from a source and deliver it to an area that needs lower/higher temperatures. Most of the time, it does this by acquiring said energy from the outdoor air or ground and delivering it to the inside of your home.
Heat pumps do not necessarily “create” energy. It facilitates the exchange and dispersion of warm/cold molecules. As it extracts energy from the source, it reduces its temperature. Your home will be the heat pump’s source if you want to cool your indoor space. As it absorbs the heat energy from your indoor airflow, it transfers it to the outside, resulting in a cooler temperature indoors.
On the contrary, if you need heating during the winter season, it utilizes the outdoors as the source. While extracting heat from a colder external environment may sound ironic, studies show that even a -18 degree Celsius still has heat energy like a 21 degree Celsius weather. All these are made possible through the reversing valve present in the heat pump’s outdoor unit.
Advantages of a Heat Pump
You are probably excited to unveil the heat pump pros and cons list. And so we won’t keep you waiting for long.
Let us first distinguish the benefits your home can reap from installing this system. First on the list is having a lower carbon emission. Per the Internation Energy Agency, heat pumps are a more fantastic choice than gas boilers because of their reduction in carbon by-products. They also use less electricity than an electric furnace for your home, so you can expect lower power bills. As a matter of fact, they can save you about $2,252 annually on power consumption! The next advantage is a longer life span. While your furnace lasts 15-20 years at maximum, an average life expectancy of a heat pump is about 50 years. It is still dependent, of course, if you are maintaining your unit regularly. Another key benefit you can enjoy is its usage throughout the year. Be it winter or summer; you can count on a heat pump to stabilize your indoor temperature for comfort. Lastly, heat pumps promise you better safety than furnaces or other combustion-based systems. Since it does not necessarily generate or create heat energy, you won’t have to worry about possible carbon monoxide leaks that can be dangerous to your health.
Disadvantages of a Heat Pump
The heat pump pros and cons list will not be complete without discussing the disadvantages. We need to discuss this to weigh further if you want to continue purchasing or not.
The first disadvantage to note is its high upfront cost. While it could save you money in the long run, heat pumps require a more significant amount of money upon purchase. If you have the budget for this investment, this may not be an issue. Next is its efficacy in extremely cold weather. While heat pumps can heat your home during winter, locations with far more brutal temperatures might not benefit from this. You will have to partner it with another heating system if you are in a place with frigid winters.
Another thing to note is that it is not entirely environmentally friendly. While it reduces carbon emissions, it is not completely carbon neutral. It means that it still emits carbon but not as high as the volume of other heating systems. There are also debates about the fluids utilized during heat transfer. Some questions their sustainability, raising concerns about the impact on the environment. Lastly, heat pumps can be hard to install. As it utilizes science to function, you have to consider the location of your unit to ensure proper operation. You have to understand that the movement of heat must be considered; hence, a thorough analysis is needed before the installation. Otherwise, your heat pump may not be as effective as promised.
Is it worth the investment?
Weighing heat pump pros and cons is essential before you make any purchase. While it might be an increasing market trend, it may or may not be an effective tool for your home. You have to properly assess your home’s needs and verify with your trusted technician if this type of system works for your needs.
While they have a significate upfront cost that ranges from $12,00 to $72,000 for a complete installation, investing in a heat pump might help you save more money in the long run. Operational costs must also be a factor you need to consider when making decisions. A system might be cheaper upon buying but could create more expenses for you in the long run. We can therefore say that heat pumps are worth the investment, especially if they fit your home’s needs and preferences.
While we recommend heat pumps for your home in Toronto, it is always best to have your home assessed before any purchase. Have a local technician inspect your home and, if it’s possible, install a heat pump system. You must also consider that they take up a significant amount of space and can sometimes require building cladding.