Q:

What are some disadvantages of a heat pump?

A:

Heat pumps are not effective in all climates. When temperatures are low for an extended period, the continual operation becomes more expensive and does not provide sufficient heat. Other disadvantages include installation costs, and the fact that the air from the unit is often not as warm as that from other heat sources.

Heat pumps work by moving heat from a cold area to a warmer one. When the temperature differential is small, they are very efficient, and provide more heat energy than a resistance furnace with a similar amount of power. However, as the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures grows larger, heat pumps take more energy to move the heat. Most units overcome this problem using a backup source of heat, such as a gas or resistance furnace. This heat source also operates when the heat pump is in the defrost cycle.

Additionally, the air exiting the air ducts from a heat pump is not as warm as the air from a traditional furnace. Some owners report the air from the ducts is cold. The problem sometimes requires redirecting vents to blow away from room occupants.

Installing a heat pump is sometimes more expensive than installing a traditional furnace. While the owner eventually recovers the money in utility savings, the initial cost keeps some consumers from installing the systems.

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Related Questions

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    What is the difference between a heat pump and a furnace?

    A:

    The differences between a heat pump and a furnace include functionality, price and components, with the primary difference being functionality. A furnace is used solely to provide heat, whereas a heat pump can function as a heater or an air conditioner. A heat pump has refrigerants, which allow the heat pump to heat cold air and make hot air cold.

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    What is a heat pump system?

    A:

    Heat pumps are electric devices that transfer heat from a colder area to a warmer one, allowing them to provide heat in a home when outside temperatures are cold and air conditioning when the temperatures outside are warm. They work on the same principle as a refrigerator.

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    How does an electric fireplace work?

    A:

    An electric fireplace works by using electric coils and a blower motor to produce heat. The metal coils are located inside of the fireplace, and they begin to heat automatically when the fireplace is plugged into an electrical socket. The blower motor, often referred to as a fan, propels the hot air outward into the room.

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    What is a Heatilator fireplace?

    A:

    The generic term "Heatilator" is used to refer to metal fireplaces with built-in ventilation systems that heat and circulate room air. This type of fireplace, also referred to as a "metal zero-clearance fireplace," was first manufactured by the Heatilator fireplace company in the 1950s.

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