Advantages and Disadvantages of an Electric Heat Pump System

Electric heater pump displayed after installation.

An electric heat pump is one of the most efficient home heating systems you can choose. Heat pumps operate as a furnace during cold weather, and during warmer periods they also provide cool air through air conditioning. Heat pumps may be fueled by electricity or gas, and it's important to do your research before deciding what's best for your home. Read on to find out some of the pros and cons for choosing an electric heat pump.

Advantages of an Electric Heat Pump

Electric heat pumps provide an efficient system for heating and cooling your home. During colder seasons, it provides warmth not by convert electricity directly into heat, but rather by absorbing the heat from the atmosphere or ground, multiplying it and then transferring heat to the home.

During warmer weather, the pump functions as an air conditioner. It transfers heat from the house and creates a cooling effect throughout. This process saves on energy usage for air conditioning.

These systems are much cheaper to use than those fueled by natural gas and do not generate dry air when heating. This spares you from having to use a humidifier to combat the dry air as is the case with furnaces.

The pump also provides uniform heating for the home. You will not experience frequent temperature fluctuations, as associated with other systems. Electric pumps are also quiet and comfortable to use. The compressor is usually placed outside the building and helps to keep noise levels low. Other heat pump types can produce a lot of noise when in use.

Electrically-fueled pumps also have "green" benefits, as they do not pollute the environment. Other systems, such as furnaces, cause considerable pollution during combustion. The convenience, cleanliness, and efficiency of an electric heating pump add to the value of your home.

Disadvantages of an Electric Heat Pump

The initial purchase price may be costly, which can be a deterrent to some homeowners. However, the savings you would see on energy bills over time can balance out the initial cost.

Installation involves considerable technical expertise and specialized tools, and proper wiring must be done to ensure the system works correctly. To be safe, you should hire a qualified electrician to install the pump.

Electric heat pumps also require a significant amount of maintenance to ensure it operates efficiently throughout its lifetime.

In areas where temperatures frequently fall below freezing in winter, the pump may run less efficiently. This occurs because the system is compelled to spend more time and energy to gather heat before it can transmit warmth to the home. You may even need a backup system if you live in a climate with harsh winter weather.