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Furnaces are a traditional heating choice in Baltimore, MD homes, and most people understand that a furnace burns gas or oil to heat air and warm the building. Fewer people, however, are familiar with how a heat pump works. The energy efficiency of modern heat pumps makes them an attractive option for those who are looking to save money on spring and fall heating.

How a Heat Pump Works

To understand how a heat pump works, it helps to talk first about what it doesn’t do. A heat pump doesn’t create heat, and it doesn’t burn any fossil fuels. Most simply, it is an air conditioner operating in reverse. An air conditioner uses refrigerant and a series of coils to remove excess heat from the air inside the home and transfer it outside; heat pumps draw the warmth from outside and transfer it to the air inside the building. A heat pump can be used for both heating and cooling, so there is no need for a separate air conditioner during the summer.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are two main types of heat pumps: air-sourced and geothermal. Air-sourced models sit outside just as air conditioners do. They pull warmth from the outside air and transfer it into the home. This method of transferring heat works efficiently even in cool weather. 

Geothermal heat pumps draw their heat from under the ground instead of from the air. The initial installation typically costs more since excavation is required. However, because the ground retains heat even as the air temperature drops, you can expect greater efficiency and effectiveness even on colder days.

Heat Pump Considerations

The performance of your heat pump depends on a number of issues, including the size of the home, the amount of insulation and the temperature outside. Older heat pumps aren’t as effective once the temperature drops below about 40 degrees. New versions remain efficient at somewhat lower temperatures, but you’ll need to have a back-up heat source — such as a furnace — for freezing weather. These split systems are still very energy efficient. In fact, many users discover that the reduced consumption of expensive heating fuels more than makes up for the increased use of electricity to power the heat pump.

To find out more about whether a heat pump is the right choice for your space, contact Griffith Energy Services. Our roots in the Baltimore, MD area go back to 1898, so you can be sure you’re dealing with experienced pros. We’ll explain the benefits of upgrading to a modern, efficient split system, and we’ll take the time to walk you through the selection process one step at a time. Call Griffith Energy Services today.

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