Years ago, if someone had a home in the South, they tended to have an air conditioner and a furnace. Some homes had separate boiler and air conditioning systems. While you still find many homes like this today, things are changing! More and more homeowners these days are switching to a different kind of HVAC system known as a heat pump. These devices work especially well in the South when the winter weather is pretty mild. But why are so many homeowners making the change, and why might you want to do the same?
Heat pumps are a single appliance
Even if you have an air conditioner and a furnace that use the same ducts, fan, and thermostat, those are two appliances. You have to buy two appliances, and you also need to worry about maintaining and repairing two separate appliances. A heat pump is a single appliance. While a heat pump generally costs a little more than just a furnace or just an air conditioner, it's certainly less expensive than buying one of each. Plus, you only have to pay your HVAC company to maintain the one machine, and that reduces the risk of a breakdown since you're only worried about one machine breaking down, not two.
Heat pumps are really energy-efficient
Heat pumps are electric. They do not need a fuel source, like gas or oil. Because they run on electricity, which can get expensive if you use too much of it, companies have been motivated to make heat pumps really efficient. You'll probably have lower cooling and heating bills than you would with separate a furnace and air conditioner. Of course, you'll still need to change the air filter and keep your heat pump clean for it to run as efficiently as possible.
If your furnace is the only appliance in your home that runs on gas or oil, switching to a heat pump will allow you to get rid of your gas or oil bill. And who doesn't love one less bill to pay every month?
Heat pumps are easy to install
You won't be installing your heat pump; your HVAC technician will. However, you should still care that a heat pump is easier to install than a traditional furnace and air conditioner. This means your HVAC technician won't have to spend as much time on the installation, which should mean they charge you less. It may mean your installation is done in one day rather than two, which makes it easier for you to plan. Maybe you won't have to take as much time off from work to meet the contractor.
Heat pumps can coordinate with your existing ductwork, but they don't have to
If you already have ducts in your home from a previous heating and air conditioning system, your HVAC contractor can recommend a type of heat pump that works with those same ducts. However, if you don't have ductwork because you previously relied on a boiler heater and window AC units, that's not a big deal. There is a type of heat pump called a ductless mini-split, and it can be installed in a way that allows it to blow air directly into your home through air handlers. Air handlers are units that look a bit like window AC units but are mounted through your wall.
If you are ready to make a change and improve your heating and cooling system for the better, talk to your HVAC contractor about heat pumps. So many homeowners are switching to them, especially in the Southern states, and they really do offer a lot of advantages.