Heat PumpsAre Heat Pumps Efficient?


Heat pumps are a popular choice for some homeowners. But are they efficient? In short, yes! And you don’t have to take our word for it. The U.S. Department of Energy has deemed heat pumps an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. That’s right, heat pump can help keep your home comfortable year round, providing both heating and cooling.

One thing to keep in mind, is that Although a heat pump will heat your home on moderately cool days, it is best paired with a furnace to allow for maximum comfort when outdoor temperatures dip below 40°.  If you are looking to both heat and cool your home, it is an energy efficient solution, but if you’re only looking for heat, a traditional furnace is probably the way to go for most homeowners in the Pacific Northwest.

While there’s no doubt heat pumps are beneficial, there are several factors to consider when you’re looking to find the most efficient heat pump for your home. Read below for our deep dive into heat pump efficiency.

Why are heat pumps so efficient?

These nifty systems can both heat and cool your home by moving warm or cool air from the inside of your home to the outside. When a heat pump is in cooling mode, it takes heat from inside your home and releases it outside. On the other hand, in heating mode, the system works in reverse. In colder climates (like the Pacific Northwest during winter) you’ll typically find a furnace working in tandem with the heat pump to heat the home. It takes cooler air from outside your home, heats it via the furnace, and then releases it throughout your home.


How to find the most efficient heat pump for your home


Carrier Outdoor Unit


When considering a heat pump, it’s important to consider the following:

  1. Type of heat pump
  2. Correct Sizing

1) Types of heat pumps

The most common type of residential heat pump is called air-source. It uses electricity and transfers heat between your house and the outside air as discussed above. Although the installation cost for this type of equipment can be higher than a typical furnace, long term savings and other benefits may be realized.

2) Make sure it’s the correct size

The best heat pump for your needs isn’t necessarily the biggest one you can find. The most efficient heat pump for your home needs to be the correct size. If it’s not correctly sized for your home, it won’t be effective and could actually increase your energy bills.  A system that’s too big will cycle on and off too frequently.

How to increase heat pump efficiency

With all of this information in mind, you’re well on your way to knowing how to find the most efficient heat pump for your home. While the systems are already efficient, it doesn’t hurt to give your heat pump a hand. You can do this by ensuring there’s ample insulation in your walls and attic. Also, make sure your house is tightly sealed by fixing cracks or gaps near doors and windows.


With a heat pump in place, you can enjoy a comfortable home year round with the potential of saving money on your energy bill. Fall is a great time to install a heat pump. You’ll be warm for winter and ready ahead of time for when it gets hot next summer. If you’re interested in adding these awesome benefits to your home, contact us here. GS Heating Cooling & Electrical has ample experience with these systems and our HVAC experts can help you decide IF a heat pump is right for your home and help you find the most efficient solution for your home. Feel free to give us a call at 425-341-4689.



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