March 19, 2021
Heat pumps: what are they and why does it seem like they have been everywhere lately?
One reason heat pump technology has become increasingly popular in California, as well as the rest of the country, is its impressive efficiency and versatility. But are these home comfort devices really the way of the future? As the trusted home comfort experts in the East Bay, Hassler Heating & AC has everything you need to know about heat pumps for your California home.
What Makes Heat Pumps So Efficient?
Heat pumps are a replacement or supplement for a home heating and cooling system. You can utilize a heat pump in one of those hard-to-condition rooms, like a bonus room or a recent addition to your home, or it can act as a replacement for your outdated, inefficient, or broken furnace or air conditioner.
Heat pumps operate more efficiently than some of the more traditional HVAC systems you might be used to because instead of creating heat, they simply move it from one location to another. This is similar to how a modern air conditioner works, where heat is removed from inside your home and transferred outside via an airtight refrigerant line. But a heat pump can also reverse the process in the winter to actually heat your home!
In the wintertime, a heat pump absorbs small amounts of heat in the outside air and brings it into your home to warm the indoor air, keeping your home comfortable even on the coldest of days here in Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties.
All-Electric Home Comfort
Yes, heat pumps are efficient, but that isn’t the only reason many consider heat pumps to be the future of home comfort. Heat pumps utilize electricity, and only electricity, to keep your home comfortable all year long, which makes them a prime candidate for an all-electric home.
The foundation has already been laid for a more sustainable future for California, starting in part with two major legislative moves in recent years:
The California State Building Standards Commission now requires that all new buildings include a system of solar panels.
Both of these initiatives are aimed at helping California meet its carbon reduction goals by transitioning as many homes and buildings as possible away from using fossil fuels and towards using energy from renewable sources. Heat pumps are an integral part of the “electrification” process, considering that more than half of the energy used in a home is typically for heating and cooling.
Types of Heat Pumps
Not every heat pump is exactly the same. Let’s dig into some of the different types of heat pumps and how you might be able to use them.
Ductless Heat Pumps/Ductless Mini Splits
A heat pump that does not connect to any of the central ductwork in your home is called a ductless heat pump, or a ductless mini split. These heat pumps often consist of two main components, an indoor air handler and an outdoor unit. The conditioned air comes directly out of the air handler and into the room that needs the extra heating or cooling power, making ductless mini splits ideal for rooms that were not included in your home’s original ductwork plans.
Rooms where a ductless mini split would be installed include:
“She Sheds” or other free-standing structures on your property
Rooms that were recently added and don’t include ductwork
Multiple ductless mini splits can be installed together as a whole-home solution that provides separate comfort zones for a customized home comfort experience.
Ducted Heat Pumps
Ducted heat pumps bring the efficiency of heat pumps to your central air heating and cooling system. The air handler component of a ducted heat pump connects directly to your home’s central ductwork system, delivering conditioned air throughout your home. Ducted heat pumps can be used to replace a failing furnace, central air conditioner, or both!
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump technology can also be used to heat the water in your home! A heat pump water heater is two to three times more efficient than electric resistance or combustion water heaters, and also only uses electricity.
“Dream of Californication Electrification”
If you are curious about the electrification process and how you can start saving on energy costs without sacrificing your home comfort, take the hassle out of the process and call Hassler Heating and AC. We can develop a game plan customized to your exact needs and goals, help you save with rebates and incentives for heat pump installation, and even pair you with the right financing option (like PACE financing) to get you started on the path to an all-electric home!