Heat PumpsHeat Pump FAQ: Isn’t Electric Heating Expensive?

Electric resistance heating is certainly nothing new. Many homeowners use electric space heaters to warm a single room — while paying careful attention to safe usage practices, we hope — while whole homes may be heated with electric furnaces or electric radiant heating. Now, electric resistance heating is 100% efficient in that no thermal energy is wasted to flue gases or incomplete combustion. However, the relatively high price of electricity still means that electric heating will usually cost more than using a gas heater.

So why all the buzz around heat pumps? Well, heat pumps are incredibly efficient. However, they also operate affordably. In order to better understand how a heat pump is able to perform this balancing act, you must understand how it is that a heat pump generates heat. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t.

What Do You Mean, It Doesn’t Generate Heat?

Providing heat is not the exact same as generating heat, as the heat pump proves. While a standard heater may burn fuel or use electric resistance in order to generate new heat, the heat pump actually transfers existing heat into the home from the air outside. This method of heat transfer requires only a small amount of electricity, which makes heat pump heating so efficient.

Basically, your heat pump simply reverses the operation of an AC in order to heat. In fact, you can use a heat pump to do both. The important thing is that the refrigerant cycle is reversible.

An air conditioner evaporates refrigerant in your home in order to remove heat from the air outside. Well, a heat pump does much the same, and in the winter, it reverses this operation. That means that the heat pump evaporates refrigerant outside in order to draw heat out of the air. That refrigerant is compressed to boost its thermal energy, and is then condensed in order to heat air for distribution throughout the house.

There you have: a heater that doesn’t generate heat. Schedule your heat pump services in Everett, WA with G & S Heating Cooling & Electric.


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