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Is a Heat Pump More Effective at Cooling or Heating?

One of the main reasons that homeowners have heat pumps installed in the first place is because they provide a fantastic “two-in-one” package deal: an air conditioner and a heating system. It only takes a single adjustment on a thermostat to change a heat pump from heating mode to cooling mode and vice versa.

But are heat pumps equally effective at heating as they are at cooling? It’s a question people often ask, and we’ll address it below.

Heating vs. Cooling in a Heat Pump

The simplest answer to the question is that heat pumps are more energy efficient in cooling mode. The standard SEER rating for a heat pump (the efficiency rating for cooling mode) is around 5 higher than its HSPF rating (the efficiency rating for heating mode). The reason for this is that a heat pump must draw heat from outside when it is in heating mode, and since people only use the heating mode during cold weather, there isn’t an ample supply of heat for it to absorb. The heat pump therefore has lower energy efficiency in heating mode.

However, this shouldn’t dissuade you from considering a heat pump for your home, because unless the weather drops below freezing, a heat pump is still more energy efficient than a combustion system heater (such as a gas furnace) or electrical resistance heater (such as an electric furnace). For most homes in the Cary, NC area, a heat pump can provide the right level of comfort for the winter and end up costing less to run than other alternatives.

Plus, you have the benefit of cooling that is as powerful as any air conditioner of comparable size.

If you are interested in installation of a heat pump for your home, make sure that you contact professionals to see if one is the ideal choice. Raleigh Heating & Air is here to provide the skilled assistance you need.

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