What is a heat pump? These are machines that move heat from one place at a lower temperature to another place at a higher temperature. While an air conditioner is used only for cooling, heat pumps can be used for cooling or heating purposes.
The beauty of these pumps is that they use the same refrigeration cycle for heating and cooling. Using a reversing valve, they change the coil serving as the condenser and the one serving as the evaporator. In cooler climates, people often purchase these pumps for use only as heaters.
When they are cooling, the pump works the same way as a normal air conditioner. An evaporator absorbs the heat from inside the occupied space and the condenser emits this heat to the outside. The reversing value allows the refrigerant to flow in a different direction for heating, supplying heat to the occupied space.
From there you can set up your thermostat to switch to the back up heat when the outside temp reaches below 30-20 degrees fahrenheit. That way your gas or LP heat will not be used until the outside temps drop below the set point on your thermostat.
More and more, people are turning to electric cars because they rely less on fossil fuel. It’s the same deal with heat pumps: Because the more often you use a heat pump, the less often you’ll need your gas furnace. And because they run on electricity, your bank account won’t run on fumes when it’s time to pay that utility bill.
Check out the two videos attached. One is two heat pumps both running….can you hear them? The second one is a heat pump running while many hummingbirds don’t even notice it is on either.