Heat pumps provide evenly distributed heat by absorbing warmth from outside of your home functioning as a reverse air conditioning system. This type of heat is very comfortable, consistent, and not as intense as a gas or oil furnace. There is a maximum difference or delta T that is the range between inside and outside temperatures. Below 35 degrees, the energy efficiency drops. If the outside temperatures drop below freezing, the heat pump is unable to extract heat from the frigid air. A backup source of heat maintains the indoor temperature at the desired setting.
Certain heat pumps can be equipped with an auxiliary system to provide more heat if necessary. Electric resistance heating coils are activated if enough heat cannot be extracted from outside your home. This type of heat pump system will have a switch on the thermostat to enable the auxiliary heat function. Energy efficiency can suffer because of the increased use of the electrical system.
The type of conventional furnace that is common in your area is usually a good choice for a backup system if your heat pump does not have supplemental heating. Call your HVAC contractor to discuss your plans. A professional can provide the details of how a backup system will work with your heat pump and make recommendations.
Several heat pumps have the capability of adding an auxiliary system at a later time if necessary. This option is mainly found in areas with milder winters. The southern Michigan climate would require a backup or auxiliary system due to colder temperatures. A gas forced-air furnace would be an energy efficient and cost-effective backup heating source for this area.
If you are installing a heat pump, ask your contractor if your current system can be adapted as a backup unit. Heat pumps provide a comfortable form of heat distribution. Used with the proper backup heat source, heat pumps can also be very energy efficient.
Please contact Aladdin Heating and Cooling with any concerns about a backup heating source. We have been proudly serving Madison Heights, Warren, and the surrounding areas since 1945.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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