Heat Pump Pros & Cons: A Guide For Homeowners

Heat pumps are becoming a more favored heating & cooling technology for homeowners aiming to cut down on energy expenses while enhancing the comfort of their residences. Since their popularity increase is relatively recent, most homeowners don’t know much about how they work, or why they should get one.

This article will explain what a heat pump is, and give you a comprehensive guide on heat pump pros and cons that you should consider when deciding if you should add one to your home. If you’re interested in lowering your utility bills and helping the environment, keep on reading!

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is an electric climate control system that extracts heat from a surrounding heat source such as air, water or the ground, and then amplifies and transfers it to a different area.

Even in cold weather, outdoor air, soil or water contains a certain amount of thermal energy that can be converted to heat, and a heat pump can extract that heat, amplify it with compressed refrigerant, and transfer it inside. Unlike a furnace, a heat pump does not create heat, making it much more energy efficient.

One of the coolest parts of a heat pump is that it can heat OR cool your home by reversing the flow of refrigerant. When summer comes, heat pumps can cool your home by extract heat from inside your home and transferring it outside!

Key term: Refrigerant

Refrigerants are not only used for cooling, as the name would suggest. Refrigerant is a working fluid that has chemical properties that allow it to efficiently absorb and hold heat. In a conventional air conditioner, refrigerant absorbs heat from outside air, cooling the air so it can be transferred inside and cool the home. A heat pump uses refrigerant to absorb heat, compresses the refrigerant to increase the temperature, then transfers the refrigerant elsewhere to disperse the heat – indoors in winter, outdoors in summer.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pumps available: air source, ground source, and water source. Water source is very uncommon and will not be covered for purposes of brevity. Aquarius Home Services only installs and services air source heat pumps.

Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)

heat pump replacing furnace at home

For heating and cooling homes, air source heat pumps utilize the outside air as a sustainable energy source. Air source heat pumps can be used in all regions. However, they might be less effective in colder areas because they depend on outdoor temperatures.

Many homeowners find that ASHPs are more affordable because they require less maintenance than other heat pumps. ASHPs are relatively easy to install than other solutions because they don’t need any new infrastructure, such as water wells or underground piping.

Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP)

Ground source heat pump utilizes the earth’s natural thermal properties by using underground pipes that absorb warmth from the soil or groundwater to provide heating and cooling requirements inside your home.

Because of their complicated installation process, GSHPs are more expensive than other systems. But GSHPs offer higher efficiency ratings even in cold weather, making them the best choice for people who live in cooler areas and wish to save as much energy as possible all year.

Ground source heat pumps are labor intensive to install because they require digging and underground installations. For this reason, they are best used when installed on newly constructed homes.

Pros of Heat Pumps

When heating your home on cold days, you want an energy-efficient, cost-effective, and reliable system. One option that has gained popularity in recent years is the heat pump. Here are some benefits of installing a heat pump in your home.

Cost Saving

Heat pumps can save homeowners money on utility bills because they use less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems. They provide cost savings by transferring heat from one area to another, which can significantly reduce your electricity usage.

Eco-Friendly

Heat pumps are seen as more environmentally friendly than conventional furnaces because they rely on renewable energy sources like air or ground temperatures to produce warm and cold air rather than burning fossil fuels like oil or natural gas for their power source. As a result, these units emit significantly less carbon dioxide than traditional HVAC systems.

Energy Efficient

Using the heat already present in a room rather than adding more heat will significantly cut down on energy use and optimize cost savings. In addition, many models have smart capabilities that let them change the temperature settings based on the weather outside or the number of people occupying the house.

Heat pumps offer a great way to save money and reduce your environmental footprint. Though the initial outlay may be pricey, numerous benefits make them worth considering for anyone searching for an energy-efficient heating solution.

Quiet Operation

If you have an older AC unit, it is probably quite loud when operating. A properly installed, modern heat pump is no louder than an electric fan making them much less obtrusive when close to your patio or near an open window.

Cons of Heat Pumps

While heat pumps can be an efficient and cost-effective way to heat and cool your home, there are several cons to consider as a homeowner.

High Initial Cost

Heat pumps are an excellent method to reduce energy bills but they are expensive. Depending on the size and type, it might cost anywhere from $3,000 to over $10,000 to install heat pumps. This drawback is somewhat eased by tax incentives and utility rebates. Installing an energy-efficient system like a heat pump may qualify for tax incentives from federal and local governments, as well as rebates from electrical utility companies.

Limited Efficiency in Cold Weather

Regardless of the outside temperature, heat pumps are generally effective in moving heat from one location to another. But their effectiveness dramatically drops when the outside temperature drops below freezing. In these conditions, compared to conventional heating systems like gas furnaces or boilers, it is less successful at providing constant warmth inside your home.

A backup heating system may be necessary for a heat pump to offer adequate warmth in frigid climates. It is common for heat pump buyers to keep their gas furnace and use it sparingly when the weather gets too cold for the heat pump to adequately warm the home. The heat pump allows the homeowner to drastically reduce the amount of gas used by the furnace as it is only needed for especially cold weather.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heat Pump System

When considering the factors in choosing a heat pump system, it is essential to consider climate and location, size and capacity requirements, and budget and financing options.

Climate and Location

Heat pumps are the most effective in moderate areas with relatively constant temperatures all year. A more robust system might be required for regions with high temperatures to ensure adequate heating and cooling all year.

Size and Capacity

It’s essential to accurately estimate the size and capacity needs of your heat pump based on variables like the size of your home, the number of rooms that need to be heated or cooled, the degree of insulation, the local temperature, etc. Before making a choice, be sure to seek the advice of a qualified HVAC professional.

Budget and Financing Options

The cost of a heat pump system might vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and the amenities it has to offer. Make sure you understand all the terms of these offers before signing anything. Many manufacturers provide appealing financing solutions with low-interest rates.

Conclusion

Heat pumps may be a wise choice for those wishing to save money on energy costs and lessen their environmental impact. Heat pumps have a lot of advantages over other heating methods, making them an appealing choice despite certain disadvantages, including a high initial cost and maintenance requirements.

If you’re considering a heat pump for your home, Aquarius Home Services can help you choose the right one. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experts and learn more about the best heat pumps for your home.

mavis eng
mavis eng
1721659008
sandra lee
sandra lee
1721519155
Nina Sebregts
Nina Sebregts
1721407360
Ethan did a fantastic job! He did a great job analyzing the system, providing recomendations and information needed to make an informed decision. He took his time explaining what was done and why. Thank you!
John Teichroew
John Teichroew
1721399810
Thumbs up for... (1) GOOD COMMUNICATION, between the office/dispatcher and service technician and, to be appreciated even more so, between the technician and ourselves, the homeowners, by keeping us posted on his current timetable and probable ETA; (2) careful evaluation of our split-ductless AC system and its units, both inside and outside the house; (3) upfront and forthright TRANSPARENCY from the service tech, showing us both existing problem areas as well as potential problem areas, and apprising us of precise cost(s) involved in rectifying those situations; (4) a demonstration of professional expertise in identifying the primary problem - in this instance, an ever-so-slight but incremental leak of coolant; (5) SUCCESSFULLY making the necessary repairs and restoring the system to proper functionality - which, ultimately, is what we were in pursuit of; and (6) throughout this whole process, encompassing a period of more than three hours, Aquarius' service tech, David Boggie, was altogether CORDIAL and PERSONABLE.Thank you!
Stephanie Thomas
Stephanie Thomas
1721339023
Nick and his apprentice Tim were amazing. Very thorough and took the time to explain everything! Very upfront with the issues found and explained all my options. I would highly recommend them.
Alan Gengenbach
Alan Gengenbach
1721337972
Jeff Lorenz
Jeff Lorenz
1721335367
Eric was very professional did a great job!
T B
T B
1721326516
Brian Newell
Brian Newell
1721323892
Casey and Adam were very friendly and professional. They answered all my questions
Candace Lovett
Candace Lovett
1721319933
Where are my pictures
Audrey DeYoung
Audrey DeYoung
1721308525
Matt Kallenberg
Matt Kallenberg
1721271096
Nick and Tim were great. Nick really knows his stuff and is super thorough. I would definitely recommend him
Bill Bush
Bill Bush
1721257086
mary bond
mary bond
1721255131
Our water heater went out on Fri evening. We called Aquarius early Sat morning and they said earliest they could get out was Mon. On Sun I received a text confirming our Mon appointment but on Mon morning they called and said the earliest they could get to us was the following week !We should be without hot water till then ? We are not a new customer…. 5 months previously we had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at quite an expense. I am appalled at their service or rather lack there of ! As an established customer they felt waiting approximately 10days without water was acceptable Bad, Bad, Bad !Two weeks later…The air conditioner Aquarius installed in Dec failed to cool when we turned it on on our 1st warm days. After the poor experience I had had with them I didn’t want to deal with them again but since it was under warranty I had to. We were told we would have a technician out Wed morning. After waiting at home all day they called and canceled at 4pm. We were rescheduled for Fri morning. We had several calls during the day with updates At 5:22 pm we received a cal the tech would be here at 6pm. We cancelled our dinner reservation and are awaiting his arrival.I realize our air conditioning is not an emergency but we have spent 2days waiting for our scheduled service. This is in addition to the 10days they wanted us to wait for a new water heater(which I do think is an emergency) I feel bad for the tech who I’m sure has had a long day and must now come at 6 on a Fri evening. Once again I repeat Aquarius has failed us again !!Wow !!!Now July ….it continues !! The duct from our air conditioning system has come loose and is spewing cold air in my basement. A service technician arrived and said the wrong connection was used. He said he would order the right part and return the next day. (Wednesday) The appointment was scheduled for today for between 12 - 3. When no one arrived by 3pm, I called and was told the part hadn’t arrived and they would reschedule for next Monday…5 days out.UGH…. I would have thought someone could have called before I wasted several hours waiting and now I can look forward to several days without efficient air conditioning and another day of waiting for a technician. Life is too short to have to deal with such repeated poor work and lousy service !! Oh, but they did say they’re sorry 😢
Sim Ngiratregd
Sim Ngiratregd
1721248048
Micah Williams plumbing technician performed excellent job inspecting our house plumbing system, recommended new water heater because the existing one is over 17 years old. Within 4.5 hours the new water heater was installed with quality and workmanship exceeding my expectations. The purchase price was great as well as the purchase financing option. Over service rating is Excellent!
Cathy Luk
Cathy Luk
1721247854
I was very happy with Brent'service. He was professional and patient in explaining the problem he found with my AC. If future problems arise, I will definitely ask for him.
Melissa Cain
Melissa Cain
1721247236
Aquarius has always had amazing customer service. We recently had our furnace and ac replaced and their team have been informative and personable while maintain professionalism. Thank you to Nicholas Sarinske, Mike Sippel, Matt Kellenberger, Nate Huettl, and anyone else I may have forgotten.
Dan Carlson
Dan Carlson
1721235114
Boni Beisell
Boni Beisell
1721154216
EVERYONE at Aquarius is extremely customer oriented! From first contact with customer service: "Thank you for calling Aquarius Home Service, How can I make you smile today?" (that happily delivered addage always does), all the way through to their exemplary Home Service techs, I have always felt well taken care of; as though their #1 goal was to insure my needs be met, to my highest satisfaction. Aquarius Maintenance technicians are polite and respectful of my home and personal time. They go to great pains to take pictures of any equipment they're working on & point out current issues along with potential future things to be aware of - all in plain English - so I can make informed decisions on fixes needed now or plan pros & cons of 'holding off for a while'. They don't push, they give facts, share expertise, let me decide. . . . and make me smile, everytime.I will happily encourage friends & family to call Aquarius for home service.
LuAnn Suilmann
LuAnn Suilmann
1721152199
Ethan was polite, knowledgeable, and efficient on time. Well done. Very happy.
Dave W
Dave W
1721144718
Very good communications and tech skills. Good info on repair or replace decision.
Ed Bailen
Ed Bailen
1721136513
Nick and Tim did a very thorough job in diagnosing my mom's furnace/ac problems.I would highly recommend them.
Jack Livingston
Jack Livingston
1721093363
Nicholas was an extremely helpful technician. He was thorough and fixed our issue at a reasonable cost. We were impressed with the customer service we got both from him and everyone at Aquarius. Thanks for getting us in within 24 hours, fixing our air conditioning and explaining what was going on.
Sandy Oldeen
Sandy Oldeen
1721089662
Mike Lauer from Aquarius came to service my A/C. Mike was so kind in informing me of my options. He had my trust right away. In the end I purchased a new unit. Mike is definitely an asset to Aquarius. Thanks for the good service Mike!
Karen Arcand
Karen Arcand
1721088008
Leigh Griffith
Leigh Griffith
1720985156
Nick did a nice job of showing us what was affecting our AC and the problems that were looming with our furnace.
Scott Moore
Scott Moore
1720976548
The technician worked hard and did a great job.
Mary Cole
Mary Cole
1720816564
Had technician, Nathan come to perform yearly check on AC Very knowledgeable and explained everything. Bonus points for fixing the pesky rattle from the ductwork!
Jessica McDougall
Jessica McDougall
1720815008
Aquarius has consistently been great at fast response times, responsive communication, and willingness to teach about the maintenance procedures they perform. We will never go back to anyone else!
Nancy Melvin
Nancy Melvin
1720809794
Provided prompt and professional service.
Sean M
Sean M
1720808556
Stephen Clonkey
Stephen Clonkey
1720801379
Riley was very thorough and communicated with us very well.
Jessica Kohl
Jessica Kohl
1720723436
Mike C was my technician and he was AWESOME, very nice, knowledgeable, respectful inside my home (wore booties, didn’t touch newly painted walls, even picking up clumps of insulation on the carpet and putting in his pocket so it wasn’t on the floor, turning off lights) he was great!
Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson
1720718604
Highly recommend Aquarius Home Services. Mike was very professional and explained everything in easy to understand detail. Keep up the good work!
Natalia Yasama
Natalia Yasama
1720656615
There is no better technician than Riley !Very professional, honest , perfectionist. 11 stars service .
Karl Witt
Karl Witt
1720640365
Super great experience! Air conditioning went out at 10 o’clock in the morning and the technician arrived here by 1:45 and completed the repair in less than 45 minutes. Graham, the technician, was really awesome and did a great job with repair.
Bonster Bon
Bonster Bon
1720639807
He did a good job representing your company young man explain things thank you Ethan
JD Smith
JD Smith
1720631805
Excellent deal, sales person, and installation techs. Staff are friendly, they listen to you, and are professional! Two thumbs up! Thank you Thomas, Mick, and Jeff!
Hans Schroeder
Hans Schroeder
1720627228
Mary Schmuland
Mary Schmuland
1720616091
Professional, proficient, courteous, and going above and beyond! We were extremely satisfied with John and his plumbing services; removed garbage disposal, connected new faucet and soap dispenser, rectified hook-up with Aquarius water filter to our refrigerator, and installed new sink drains. He was prompt, worked in a congested cabinet, and did a superb job with attention to details. Would be glad to trust him and his expertise, again! Pleasant and focused!
Carmelo Panetta
Carmelo Panetta
1720569940
Brandon did a great job cleaning five mini split airconditioning, including fixing a broken one.
Ayrlahn Johnson
Ayrlahn Johnson
1720566419
The Boogieman came out and fixed our furnace and AC in one fell swoop. Got them both working. We were heated up a bit but now Cooler heads 😎 are prevailing!
Gregg Barker
Gregg Barker
1720566016
Riley and Brent did an awesome job. The communication with scheduling and knowing when someone was coming was frustrating as the time kept changing.
Becky Hansen
Becky Hansen
1720565057
No pressure sales appointment tget went over all tge options, got an appointment with 3 days to have the install. The install guys gave ne s call ahead. They put in the nee furnace & AC unit, explained what they did and also showed us. They took ff the service call charge as we bought the units as it was not worth fixing (our AC was 41 years old we found out) Travis Lee and his partner were professional and very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend Aquarius
Denise Bratvold
Denise Bratvold
1720545466
Another seamless experience with Aquarius Home Services. The timely communication with Jeremy from before arrival continued as he worked through my water heater problem and options for solutions. Would highly recommended AHS.
LaNae Christenson
LaNae Christenson
1720536581
Chris came to evaluate a slow leak and quickly found the source of the problem. He gave the best and worst case scenario and got to work right away. I appreciated his candor and professionalism throughout the entire process and am very pleased with the result. I would definitely call again if needed.
Barb Galvez
Barb Galvez
1720535493
Tech was awesome, friendly and very well qualified for my AC tune ups.
melissa goldman
melissa goldman
1720478062
Just can't say enough good things about Aquarius. We've general contracted a couple of our own homes and have never worked with such professional, knowledgeable and kind people. We had a Kinetico system installed that Brian coordinated. Even though we have Kinetico water filtration in other homes and are familiar, he pointed out things that we didn't know. Paul worked on our plumbing and was equally wonderful. Just made everything so easy. We had a sizeable amount of electrical work done by Dave and AJ and Erik. Absolutely top shelf every step of the way. AJ even, on his own time, went in search of a scarce part we needed to finish the upgrades. He found it and finished in one day! AJ really went above and beyond throughout. They all did. Truly so grateful to the teams and can't recommend them highly enough.
Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson
1720473879
They installed a tank less water heater. We were very impressed with their work. Very knowledgeable and courteous. A GREAT team.
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