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The Limits of Heat Pumps in Extreme Cold Weather in Glenside, PA

A heat pump can be an incredibly efficient way of heating your home in Glenside, PA, over the winter. However. you may have heard that they’re not always effective in frigid weather. Below is some information about the limitations of your heat pump in extremely cold weather along with a couple of tips for effectively and efficiently heating your home.

The Basics of Heat Pumps

Before discussing the limits of heat pumps during extremely cold weather, it’s important to understand how they work. Heat pumps don’t generate heat but merely transfer it either into or out of your house. It does this by regulating the pressure of the refrigerant in the system.

As the pressure increases, the temperature of the refrigerant increases. Conversely, when the pressure drops, the temperature drops, allowing the refrigerant to absorb heat more effectively. To heat your home, the refrigerant must be colder than the air outside, allowing it to bring heat inside.

What Temperature Makes Them Ineffective?

The colder the air, the less heat the heat pump will bring into your home. Different heat pump units have different operating temperatures. Many start losing efficiency at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit while becoming less efficient than a furnace at around 25 degrees.

As the temperature drops below the effective operational temperature, the coils risk freezing. When this happens, they may become damaged, requiring heating repair.

Backup Heat

This is why having a backup heat source is important where temperatures commonly drop below the operational range. The backup heat source kicks in when the air temperature is too low to keep your home safe and comfortable. There are generally two types of backup heating available for heat pumps.

The most common is to have an electric resistance coil installed. You could notice a significant increase in your energy bill while using the electric resistance coil.

A gas furnace is your other option, known as a dual fuel system when it’s paired with a heat pump. These are generally more efficient than standard electric resistance coils since they require less source energy to produce heat.

Make sure you’re ready for the freezing weather this winter. Call the expert technicians at AirMaster Heating & Cooling Specialists to schedule your heat pump consultation today.

Image provided by iStock

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