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Common Heat Pump Myths That Need to be Debunked

Views: 184     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-10-14      Origin: Site

Rising energy costs, especially for gas, meaning many homeowners are considering alternative options for most of their home needs. Another consideration is the need to turn homes green. As people become conscious of the harm to the environment their energy utilities could be causing, they seek better and greener alternatives. Air conditioning is one of the main areas of energy consumption at home, and one of the alternatives to traditional options is heat pumps. These include both air-source heat pumps and ground heat pumps.

The interest in renewable sources of heating and cooling around the home has seen an increase in the adoption of heat pumps. Unfortunately, this adoption is hampered by heat pump myths, making many hesitate to get them and thus miss out on their numerous advantages. To promote the widespread use of heat pumps, it is imperative to debunk most of these common heat pump myths, which many unsuspecting would-be buyers take for established truths.


heat pump in cold climates


This article debunks some misconceptions about heat pumps and enables you to make an informed choice on whether the heat pumps are worth it or not based on the correct information.


Heat pumps are too costly.


This myth is based on the initial upfront costs of heat pumps. A heat pump's price and installation costs are indeed costly compared to other traditional heating systems. However, several other benefits ensure that, in the end, you make more savings and get more value for your money.

First, if the system you are replacing runs on oil, LPG, solid fuel, or electricity, you are guaranteed long-term savings that pay back your costs for up to 5-7 years. Secondly, many programs can provide you the help to purchase the pumps or get tax rebates.


Heat pumps are not efficient in cold climates.


This myth is based on early models of heat pumps and suggests that heat pumps will not work in cold winters. It fails to consider the functioning of most modern heat pumps. While the efficiency of the average air source heat pump reduces with increased temperature, it will still function at -5 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, grounded heat pumps have their pipes dug so deep in the ground that they are not affected by the cold temperatures above, allowing them to provide efficient heating in even colder weather. Finally, further advancements in the sector have seen the introduction of cold climate heat pumps that can maintain 200 % efficiency even when the temperature falls to zero degrees Celsius. They will provide heating even at -30 degrees Celsius.


Heat pumps are noisy.


Here is another myth based on old models and assumptions based on other forms of heating. Technology for making heat pumps has drastically improved, shifting away from the bulkier and more noisy heat pump unit. Ductless options are almost silent, and the owner can be hard-pressed to tell if the unit is on. Further, plenty of noise reduction technology like discharge mufflers and insulated compressors ensure the noise of even central units is under 60 decibels.

If noise is a particular concern for you, check for the ratings, as there are units below 55 decibels. The average modern heat pump should not be noisier than a refrigerator or a window air fan if properly installed.


Heat pumps cannot be fitted in old buildings.


This is a baseless myth that only scares owners of older buildings from adopting the new technology. Heat pumps are one of the most versatile systems in the market and can fit in any property. Whether you are in high-rise apartments, modern homes, or even old farmhouses, you can have heat pumps installed.

If you have a ducted HVAC system, then the system is simply retrofitted to use air source heat pumps. If it is an old home using radiator heating systems, then mini splits are used to cool specific areas of your home. A professional heat pump contractor will evaluate your house and help you choose the best heat pump setup for you.


Heat pumps are for heating only.


Another misconception about heat pumps is that they are used for heating only. The confusion may come from older models and perhaps the name. However, they all do heating and cooling, while some can do much more. Heat pumps currently come with a reversing valve that reverses the coolant's flow in the system when moving in the opposite direction. Ground source heat pumps can also provide hot water, which you can use for varied house activities.


Heat pumps only work with underfloor heating.


This is another myth that only focuses on one aspect of how heat pumps function. Indeed, heat pumps work more effectively with underfloor heating because heat pumps generate lower-grade eating compared to traditional boilers and thus need a larger surface area to get to the same temperature as traditional boilers.

However, they can still work well with radiators. For standard radiators, you will have to ensure the home is well insulated to prevent any heat loss for efficient and sufficient home heating. Usually, one needs to install larger radiators, about two and a half times larger than the standard ones, for optimum operation.


Heat pumps take up much space.


While a heat pump consists of several components and outdoor and indoor parts, they are slightly larger than traditional heating systems. They also take no floor space, and much of the setup is out of sight. The outdoor component usually measures about 2 feet by one foot by 2.5 feet. Air source heat pumps have a distribution setup like conventional eating systems running along the external wall or in the ceiling, so they are out of sight and do not take up any space.

The ground source heat pumps have the heat collectors buried, so no space above the surface is taken. You can save even further space if circumstances allow you to use an underfloor heating system, as all the pipes and fittings are hidden under the floor.


Heat pumps need frequent maintenance.


This is another baseless myth, and the opposite is true. Heat pumps are not high maintenance, especially compared to the systems they are replacing. A big part of the maintenance is to keep the heat pump clean and check for any airflow that is not obstructed. Experts recommend that you have the system serviced once every two years, especially if it is a ground source heat pump. The systems are also durable, with an average lasting about 20 years, while the average boiler's lifetime is 15 years.


Workers are checking the heat pump.

Heat pumps need to stay on all the time.


Heat pumps get a bad reputation that is largely down to poorly insulated houses. They do not provide instant heating and instead do it gradually. Thus, if it is a poorly insulated house, it will not hold the heat for long as much will be escaping requiring the system to stay on all the time.

The same is true for a boiler-heated room, only that because it heats the room much faster, you will turn it off for a short time and then have to turn it on again. However, you can still enjoy your heat pump as any other by properly insulating your home. That way, when the room hits the ideal temperature, you can turn it off.


Heat pumps are a waste of money.


This misconception is a conclusion based on two myths; heat pumps are expensive and cost a lot to run. As the article shows, long-term energy cost savings make heat pumps cost-effective. Further, the unit operates heating, cooling, powering your water heater, purifying your air, and as a humidifier. It is also excellent at making your home green.

Heat pumps do not use any combustion, so no smoke or toxic gases are emitted. They also only transmit heat, requiring less of it to heat the room. Heat pumps also pose no safety hazard, whether fire or gas leaks. All these factors make heat pumps a worthy investment. You can further compound the benefits by using solar power as your energy source.


So, should you get a heat pump?


Most heat pump myths revolve around cost, installation, function, and efficiency. Yet, it is in these areas that heat pumps outperform traditional options, including gas furnaces. Advances in technology, wider heat pump adoption, and an increase in the number of players in the market have also led to lower upfront costs, which are set to reduce further. Heat pumps also offer several compelling benefits, including:

  • Significant energy costs savings

  • Improves quality of life

  • Eco-friendly

  • Versatile and durable

Your decision to get one should be based on your needs. However, if you desire an energy-saving and eco-friendly heating system, heat pumps are worthy of consideration. Find a competent heat pump technician to guide you on the right setup and advise on other changes you may have to make to the house, like insulation. It will ensure you make the most of your heat pump unit.


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