Q. Will a heat pump provide all the heat needed in the winter?
A heat pump ordinarily becomes less effective below 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature. Below that, it may be necessary to supplement the heat provided by the heat pump.
Q. How expensive are heat pumps?
A. The initial cost of heat pump equipment can be 10-15% more than units which use natural or LP Gas pool heat pump manufacturers for heating, but this difference is minimal when compared to the cost of natural gas or LP Gas service setup.
Q. Do heat pumps have to exchange heat with outside air?
A. No. Different models of heat pumps can exchange heat with ground water, making them less susceptible to outside air temperature. However, ground water heat pumps are somewhat more expensive to install.
Q. How do I know if my electric heat is on when I'm using my heat pump?
A. Most heat pump thermostats have a small light or icon which lights when the supplemental electric heater is in use.
Q. On real cold days, my heat pump sometimes has steam coming out of it. Why?
A. When this condition occurs, your heat pump is going through a "defrost" cycle. The outdoor coil can ice over during cold wet days. When this occurs, the defrost control senses it and automatically initiates a defrost cycle. To accomplish defrost, the reversing valve is switched and the unit is actually in the cooling mode momentarily. The hot refrigerant gas now flowing through the outdoor coil melts the ice away, and the resulting steam is created by the evaporation of the water. A defrost can last one to 10 minutes depending on the unit and the conditions. During this period the electric supplemental heater is automatically activated to temper the indoor air. Expect slightly cooler discharge air during this period.