Answers to Your FAQs about Heat Pumps

Heat pumps pull double duty, as they act as air conditioners in the summer and heating units in spring and fall. It only makes sense to incorporate a heat pump in your home or business, but you likely have a lot of questions. Check out this handy guide to your FAQs about heat pumps.
Heat Pump FAQs
Can a heat pump provide the heat we need in winter?
That depends on how cold it gets. In general, a heat pump is less effective at adequately heating a home when the exterior temperature goes below 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes lower than that, you'll have to provide supplemental heat. For that reason, it is most efficient in spring and fall, when the temperatures are on the chilly side but not downright cold. Electric air-source heat pumps, typically used in moderate climates, use the difference between outdoor air temperatures and indoor air temperatures to cool and heat a home, according to Energy Star.
What do SEER and HSPF ratings mean?
A SEER rating refers to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, which is a measure of the cooling efficiency of a heat pump. Federal regulations require a SEER of 13 or more for new heat pumps. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit is, saving you more money on energy bills. The HSPF rating refers to the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, which is a measure of the heating efficiency of the pump. New heat pumps manufactured after 2006 must have an HSPF of 6.8 or more. Again, the higher the HSPF, the more efficient it is.
Why should I have one heat pump instead of two separate AC and heating units?
Simplicity. With a single heat pump, there's no need to install two costly units that each do a different job. Also, a heat pump simply transfers energy to heat or cool the air rather than burn costly fuel. In addition, you can use a heat pump to operate your heated swimming pool or hot tub. Heat pumps are a greener option than traditional furnace systems, particularly in places like Texas where extreme cold is not the norm.
How does a heat pump work?
In summer, your heat pump absorbs heat from the inside of the house and pumps it outside. When you need heat in the winter, the unit takes any warmth from the outdoor air and pumps it into the home. The two-fold benefits of heat pumps make them an economical, energy-efficient feature of any home or business.
Which is more energy efficient: to allow the AC to come on for short bursts or stay on for long periods of time?
It takes a while for the unit to get going and do its job. It takes between seven and 10 minutes from the time the unit kicks on to reach peak efficiency, removing the moisture from your home. If you shut off the unit after 10 minutes, you're not getting the most out of the heat pump's potential -- no to mention, you're causing unnecessary wear and tear on the unit by doing that. It's best to allow it to run its full course to the desired temperature all at once rather than allowing it to run for short bursts.

Call TDI Air with More Questions Got more questions about heat pumps and how they can benefit you? Contact us today to learn more. We would be happy to provide you with a free estimate on a high-quality heat pump.