March 16, 2017
Heat Pumps are a great choice in Seattle and surrounding areas
Uniquely positioned on the Puget Sound, between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountain range, Seattle is typically spared from scorching heat waves and bitter cold winters. This past winter, however, we felt the record breaking cold. But does the record cold winter mean that we will have a record hot summer? Or a cool summer? Unfortunately we can’t very accurately predict the weather, especially months in advance. That said, the typical climate here is moderate, which makes heat pumps a great choice in the Seattle and surrounding areas. If you’re still swimming in heat bills from this past winter, or worried about a potentially sizzling hot summer, you’ll want to learn more about heat pumps, which can reduce your energy costs in the winter, and give you air conditioning in the summer.
Reduce Energy Costs
Heat pumps use electricity to move heat rather than generate heat. Even when it feels cool outside, there is still thermal energy in the air. Heat is only absent from the air at freezing temperatures. A heat pump extracts the heat energy from the outside air, and pulls it into the house. It works in the opposite direction as a refrigerator. If you have ever felt behind a refrigerator, it will be warm. Refrigerators take the surrounding cold air and move it into the cool space of the inside of the refrigerator, while pushing the warm air out into the surrounding air.
Because Seattle and the surrounding areas have a moderate climate, heat pumps work very well. When temperatures drop below average in the winter, however, you will need to have an alternative heat source. That back up heat source will kick in when there isn’t enough thermal energy in the air to heat the space. Back up heat sources are typically whatever was used for heat before installing the heat pump. Those can be heating oil, natural gas, propane, or electricity.
As an added bonus, when you install a heat pump, you will also get air conditioning. The heat pump will just work in the reverse direction, just like a refrigerator. The cool air from the outside will be moved inside the house, while the warm air is pushed out. It must be noted, that when using the heat pump to cool your house, you will be using electricity to do so. If previously you had minimal energy use costs in the summer months before installing a heat pump, you will see an increase in your electric bill due to the air conditioning.
Genesee Energy provides free estimates for heat pumps and all other heating and cooling options. Contact us for your free in home consultation today!