Heat Pumps: The Downside of Choosing a Heat Pump for your Home

There is a lot of buzz these days about heat pumps, and for good reason. They offer an energy efficient solution for home heating and cooling, and that is good news for your bank account and the environment. Of course, some people would have you believe that everyone should rush out and invest in a heat pump, and that is just not true. Heat pumps are great for some people but they are not for everyone, and they are certainly not without their downsides. Here is your heat pump wake up call – -the real info you need to know about heat pumps so you can weigh up the pros and cons and make an informed decision.

One of the biggest things you need to consider before getting a heat pump is the cost. Although it is often touted that heat pumps will save you money that is not the whole story. Heat pumps can save you money – but not up front. Even through a heat pump is a single unit, they are significantly more expensive than a central heating and cooling system up front. The installation is also more expensive for a heat pump system. A good contractor can help you figure out how long the money you save on your energy bill will offset the money you invested in the system. This can take years. Some people decide that they cannot commit to staying in a home long enough to make a heat pump a good investment, and some people decide to get a smaller, less expensive heat pump because they are shocked at how long it will take to get the return on the heat pump.

Heat pumps also are not for people who live in extreme climates. The definition of extreme climate by heat pump manufacturers is a little extreme itself – frequent dips below 40 degrees in the winter counts as extreme in their book. Even the south experiences lows like that, but according to heat pump experts, you may need a back up system of heating if that applies to you. Further, if you have very warm summers, heat pumps are not ideal ways of cooling your house. You are not likely to ever get a sufficiently cool feeling inside your home if you live in a hot, humid climate.

Very large homes also do not do well with heat pumps. Even large enough heat pumps generally are not up to the job of keeping homes comfortable if they are of a certain size.

Heat pumps can be a great investment for some people, but it is important to dig through the hype before you go for one for your home.

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