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What is a Heat Pump?

May 30, 2012

You may have seen a box shaped piece of equipment in your friend's or neighbor's yard and assumed it was a central air conditioning unit.  You may or may not have been correct!  If you live in Seattle or anywhere else in the northwest, it's just as likely you were looking at a heat pump.

Heat pumps work just like air conditioners, using a compressor powered by electricity to efficiently transfer heat from one place to another.  However, there is one major difference between the two.  Air conditioners transfer heat from an indoor space and move it outside, cooling the indoor space.  Heat pumps, on the other hand, are able to reverse this process, providing either heating OR cooling indoors.  And they are highly efficient at doing so!
When compared to electric resistance heat (baseboards, electric furnaces, wall heaters, etc), heat pumps can heat a home more than three times as efficiently.  So this means for every $1 you spend running a heat pump, you can get over $3 of heat in return, depending on the size and model of your equipment!  And because the energy savings are so drastic, northwest utility companies love them and are offering customers up to $1,200 in rebates for switching to certain heat pump models.  Rebate amounts and requirements vary between utility companies, so give us a call and we can fill you in on the rebates you are eligible for.

I have included pictures of a York air conditioning unit and heat pump unit.  As you can see, the two units look exactly the same from the outside:

CZH AC 300x252YZH HP4 300x252

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