The 3 Different Types of Heat from Your Heat Pump Explained

heat pump heatHeat pump heat comes in more than one variety. Today’s highly efficient heat pumps can gather enough heat energy to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature even when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. Because there’s no combustion involved, the unit normally requires only electricity to power system compressor and blower. This cuts monthly costs as well as reducing carbon emissions from the home.

In order to adapt to any possible circumstance, the system provides three options for heat pump heat to keep your house warm.

Standard Heat

Heat pumps in standard heating mode are basically an air conditioner running in reverse.  Instead of removing heat from the house and releasing it outdoors like an A/C on a hot day, the exterior coil in a heat pump extracts latent heat energy from outdoor air, compresses it and disperses it into your house. In typical winter weather, an efficient unit will derive sufficient heat to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Supplementary Heat

Suppose outdoor temps plunge unusually low and frigid outdoor air can’t provide enough heat to maintain acceptable warmth?  To add extra capacity and meet the home’s heating load in these uncommon events, the heat pump will automatically activate an additional heat source to make up the difference. Typically, this temporary additional heat will come from electric resistance coils (like those in a standard electric furnace) incorporated inside the unit.  However, other sources include a separate stand-by gas furnace or a hydronic coil in the air handler that emits heat by circulating hot water.

Emergency Heat

Should a critical mechanical failure in the heat pump occur, the unit can rely on electrical resistance heat only.  In emergency mode, all other system components shut down until repair restores full operation. Because total reliance on electrical resistance heat will quickly increase your monthly power bill, emergency mode should only be a temporary measure. Professional HVAC service should be contacted ASAP.

Ask the pros at Paitson Bros. for more information about the technology behind reliable, economical heat pump heat for your home. We’ve kept the Wabash Valley comfortable every winter since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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