Until my husband and I moved south, I’d never heard of a heat pump.
When we started looking at houses to purchase, the majority were equipped with a heat pump for temperature control. This sounded like a unit that would require a lot of work and maintenance. I pictured something along the lines of a water pump or sump pump, and doubted the system could provide sufficient cooling. Before we put in an offer on the house we liked the most, I did some research into electric heat pumps. They are a truly an innovative piece of machinery. Rather than relying on a combustion process to create heat, the unit simply moves existing heat from one place to another. During the winter, it finds ambient heat in the outdoor air, compresses it to a higher temperature, and pumps it inside to warm up the house. This process reverses in the summer, pulling heat out of the indoor air to create a cooling effect. The heat pump works a lot like a refrigerator, using refrigerant to convey the heat energy. The operation avoids the concern over byproducts such as fumes, carbon monoxide and greenhouse gas emissions. It runs quietly and is superior to a central air conditioner in dehumidification capacity and efficiency levels. The drawback of a heat pump is the inability to handle outdoor temperature below freezing. In the area where my husband and I live, this is never a concern. The heat pump provides perfect comfort all year round, requires only annual maintenance and effectively filters the air. We are totally happy with the performance and value of the electric heat pump.