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How Does a Heat Pump Work in Winter?

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heat pump

Air source heat pumps can save homeowners a substantial amount of money on their winter heating costs, especially given the climate we have here in Des Peres, Wentzville, St. Peters and the rest of the St. Louis area. That's because instead of using natural gas to produce heat, heat pumps simply move heat from the air outside into your home. So how does a heat pump work in the winter, even when the air outside is so cold?

How does a heat pump work in the winter?

When your heat pump is in the cooling mode during the summer, it uses refrigerant to absorb heat from inside your home and releases it to the air outside. That's easy enough to understand, because there's a lot of heat in your home to be absorbed in the summer.

During the winter, heat pumps operate like an air conditioner in reverse. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air outside and uses it to warm your home. Believe it or not, outside air contains a certain amount of heat even in cold temperatures. In fact, most heat pumps can efficiently absorb heat from the air outside down to as cold as 20 degrees or lower!

Since heat pumps operate on a small amount of electricity, they can drastically cut down on the higher utility bills that you'd typically have when operating a natural gas furnace.

How does a heat pump work in the winter?

A heat pump extracts heat from the outside air and pumps it into your home. A heat pump is designed with a looped system that reverses in the winter. If you live in an area with mild winters, heat pumps are a great alternative to other heating systems because they can save you more on energy. However, even if you live in an area with severe winters, there is also the option of a hybrid system that incorporates a heat pump. To get a heat pump installed in your home, call us today

What are the advantages of a heat pump?

Some advantages of a heat pump include: 

  • They cost you less on energy. 
  • They are a safer alternative to other heating systems. 
  • They can last longer than most standard heating systems. 

A geothermal heat pump can last almost up to 50 years, making its service life much longer than that of a regular heating system. A heat pump can be a very advantageous option for those living in climates with less severe winters. Contact us today to learn more about if a heat pump is the best option for your heating and cooling needs. 

What is the average life of a heat pump?

The average life of a heat pump is around 15 years. However, some things that can impact the overall lifespan of your heat pump are: 

  • The type of heat pump you have. 
  • How often you maintain your heat pump. 
  • The climate you live in. 

If you have severe winters and do not maintain your heat pump, then its service life might be shorter. On the other hand, some types of heat pumps, like geothermal heat pumps, can last up to 50 years. To learn more about heat pumps, give us a call today

What happens if it's too cold outside for a heat pump to work efficiently?

Although heat pumps do an amazing job at absorbing heat from the air outside, even when it's cold out, there comes a point at which natural gas furnaces are more efficient and effective. That's what makes hybrid heating systems such a great option for heating homes in the St. Louis area. With these units, heat pumps are used a majority of the time and a natural gas furnace is used as a backup only when necessary.

If you have any questions about how a heat pump works in the winter, or if you'd like an HVAC system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis furnace and air conditioner repair company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Cottleville, Creve Coeur and Ladue.

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