As the weather gets colder, you have most likely flipped the switch on your HVAC system from AC to Heat. Your furnace is running and hopefully well. As you adjust to bringing out winter coats, hats, and gloves, the weather may also bring a higher utility bill. A money-saving option could be a heat pump.

Heat pumps can be a sustainable way to heat your home. They are similar to a heater in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer. Heat pumps run on electricity instead of fuel and are engineered to transfer the outside air or ground warmth indoors. But don't worry about being too cold. The heat pump extracts heat from the elements outside, uses refrigerant to carry that heat through the system, and deposits it into your home until it reaches the desired temperature. Heat pumps can regulate that perfect temperature and work best when the thermostat is consistently at the same temperature. And a little tip: avoid adjusting the temperature multiple times a day or week if you have a heat pump. Doing so will save money on your electric bill.

According to Trane, a heat pump can transfer 300 percent more energy than it consumes under ideal conditions. In contrast, a high-efficiency gas furnace is about 95 percent efficient. What a difference! It's because heat pumps are powered by electricity, so that you can save substantially on fuel consumption. It's over 100 percent efficient in various temperate climates and can serve as both a heater and air conditioner.

You can use a heat pump as your home's exclusive heating and cooling system or add the heat pump to your furnace or existing HVAC system. The industry calls this a dual-fuel system that can handle mild and below-freezing temperatures for your home or business. Many homes with existing ductwork for forced-air HVAC systems can be adapted to heat pumps. Ductless heat pump systems, called mini-splits, can provide heating and cooling in a home without ducts or add climate control to rooms the primary system doesn't reach.

If you have a heat pump or are considering one, here are some things we've seen and tips to keep in mind:

  • Frozen heat pump? This could happen, and buildup or frost on the outdoor coil is normal. It has a built-in defrost control. If the ice on your heat pump is not melting or going away, it could be caused by low refrigerant levels or faulty sensor or defrost controls, which can be severe. Call your friends at Lorenz or an HVAC professional to help. 
  • Strange noises from your heat pump? It could be a problem. Sounds like gurgling, buzzing, grinding, rattling, and screeching could be signs of an electrical issue or system failure and should be attended to ASAP. 
  • Is the outdoor unit blocked? Avoid covering the unit or planting trees or bushes near it. Doing so could cause unneeded buildup, debris, or even damage to the system. It is wise to service your heat pump regularly, so it is free from debris and other issues.

As a designated Trane Comfort Specialist, Lorenz Plumbing Heating and Air installs heat pumps with a proven record of reliability and energy-efficient operation. Our technicians are NATE-certified and meet Trane's highest expertise and customer service standards.

Heat pumps can be great for homeowners or business owners in variable climates like Southwest Missouri. Whether you need to heat a small or large space, your friends at Lorenz have heat pumps worth considering. Lorenz is a premier Trane Comfort Specialist offering free consultations to ensure you get the proper heating solutions for your home. Find out if a heat pump is right for you by calling (417) 863-1122.

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