Why Heat Pumps Are the Ideal Solution for Heating and Cooling Your Home

a heat pump outside a modern home

Have you ever wondered how to save money on heating and cooling your home without sacrificing comfort and safety? If so, modern technology answers your question.

A new technology called heat pumps can reduce your energy costs by 40-60% compared to traditional heating and cooling systems (ACEEE).

3 key benefits make heat pumps the ideal heating and cooling solution for your Fair Oaks, CA home.

  1. Efficiency
  2. Economical
  3. Environmental friendliness

With the expertise of our partners at Alpha Mechanical — a Fair Oaks HVAC contractor, in this article, we take a closer look at each of the 3 benefits and explain why heat pumps are the best investment for the future that will bring you comfort, savings, and help the environment.

Electric Heat Pumps: How It Works

Heat pumps (also known as HP, HTP & HPMP) use an electric motor and refrigerant to transfer thermal energy from one place to another. They work by evaporating and condensing a refrigerant, depending on the temperature and pressure.

This property allows HPs to operate in two opposite modes.

  1. Heating: It transfers heat from the air, water, or ground and transfers it to your home.
  2. Cooling: It takes the heat from your home and transfers it to the environment.

Lamountains describes in detail the pros and cons of different types of electric heat pumps.

1. Heat Pump Efficiency

One of the main advantages of HTPs is their high efficiency. To measure the efficiency of thermal pumps, a metric called the coefficient of performance (COP) is used, which measures how many kilowatt-hours of heat it produces per kilowatt-hour of electricity. The higher the COP, the more efficient the HPMP.

COP values vary for different types of HTP (air — ASHP, water — AWHP, geothermal — GSHP), depending on the thermal energy source and sink. Another variable is the temperature. The average COP value for ASHP is 3-4, for AWHP it is 4-5, and 5-6 it is for GSHP.

Compared with traditional heating-cooling technologies, the COP for conventional electric heaters is 1, and for air conditioners, it is 2-3.

Bottom line: Each of the three types of HTPs produces three to six times more heat than they consume electricity. To estimate out COP, use the Omni Calculator.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

The most significant parameter of HPs is the money you save on electricity, HVAC maintenance, and repairs for your thermal comfort at the end of the season.

The savings generator is in the very philosophy of HPs — they use less energy than other heating and cooling systems because they transfer thermal energy rather than produce it.

Thermal pumps also have fewer moving parts to wear out, meaning the unit lasts longer than other heating and cooling systems.

But it’s the numbers that speak loudest. Let’s calculate how much you’ll save by using an HP for your Fair Oaks, CA home. Initial data:

  • The average temperature in Fair Oaks, CA in winter is -10 °C, and in summer — 30 °C.
  • Price per kWh of electricity in Fair Oaks, CA — $0.15.
  • House area — 200 m^2.
  • Type of heat pump — air (ASHP).

Let’s assume you want to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home in winter at 20 °C and in summer at 25 °C.

This will help us calculate how much warmth you need to add or remove from your home, how much electricity an ASHP uses, and how much money it costs to warm and cool a home with a thermal energy pump.

To illustrate the efficiency of ASHP, we also compared it with conventional electric heaters and air conditioners. Here are the results:

ParameterASHPElectric heater/air conditioner
Thermal load for heating, kW22
Thermal load for cooling, kW-1-1
Electricity consumption for heating, kW0.672
Electricity consumption for cooling, kW-0.33-1
Heating cost per year, $144.72432
Cooling cost per year, $71.28216
Savings on heating per year, $287.28
Savings on cooling per year, $144.72

The calculations demonstrate how much an HP saves — an impressive $432/year. This comparison table also shows the superiority of thermal pump technology over traditional heating/cooling technology.

As a bonus, ASHPs also have lower operating costs due to fewer moving parts.

Bottom line: An ASHP is more economical than other heating and cooling systems because it reduces your energy costs and extends the life of your equipment. The calculations were kindly shared by Fair Oaks, CA HVAC, a company we have consulted with above.

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3. Environmental Friendliness

Environmental friendliness is another important advantage of HPs. Less electricity consumed means less pollution.

We are talking about lower electricity consumption compared to traditional technologies, which means that HPMPs can reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, which contribute to climate change and global warming.

One more benefit is that modern HPs use safer refrigerants, which have a lower global warming potential. To illustrate, let’s look at an example of calculating emissions reductions for a typical home in Fair Oaks, CA, using the following data:

  • Average emissions per kWh of electricity in the US — 0.45 kg.
  • House area — 200 m^2.
  • Type of heat pump — water (AWHP).

Suppose, we want to maintain the temperature in the house in winter at a level of 20 °C, and in summer at the level of 25 °C. After calculating the raw numbers, we get the following values:

Heating and cooling methodGreenhouse gas emissions per year from heating (kg)Greenhouse gas emissions per year on cooling (kg)
AWHP433.44-213.12
Electric heaters and air conditioners1296-648

The difference in numbers between the emissions of an AWHP and an electric heater/air conditioner is 862.56 kg for heating and 434.88 kg for cooling. In addition, HPs use safer refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP).

For example, R-32 refrigerant, often used in warmth pumps, has a GWP three times lower than R-410A refrigerant, often used in air conditioners.

Bottom line: An AWHP is better for the environment than electric heaters and air conditioners because it contributes less to climate change. You can also find more information about thermal pump performance and efficiency ratings from EPA.GOV.

To Sum Up

Heat pumps are devices that transfer thermal energy from one place to another using electricity and the special ability of refrigerant: to warm up under pressure and cool down when it expands.

Thermal pumps are the ideal heating and cooling solution for your Fair Oaks, CA home regarding efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness.

If you want to learn more about thermal energy pumps or install them in your home, we recommend you contact a professional company that can offer you quality and safety, such as Alpha Mechanical, a Fair Oaks, CA HVAC firm.

Consider HTPs as an investment in the future that will bring you comfort, savings, and the environment.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here. 

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

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