Heat Pump 101
You've Used Heat Pumps

The Name Says It All

What is a heat pump? The answer is simple: a heat pump pumps heat. It is used to heat and/or cool a home using the same process as your refrigerator. The refrigeration cycle mechanically transfers heat, drawing heat from the environment and moving it indoors to heat your home – or in reverse to push heat from the home to cool it.

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Moving Heat

Heat pumps are common – so common in fact that you have likely lived with one in your home your entire life! It is not typically referred to as a heat pump but using the same basic heat pump process, your refrigerator extracts heat from inside the refrigerator and expels it outside of the unit to keep your food cold.

A window air conditioner also moves heat using the same mechanical principles. It extracts heat from a room and pushes it outside. Heat pumps do this too. In the summer, they extract heat from the air in your house and move it outside. However, unlike an air conditioner, heat pumps can reverse their operation to also heat your home in the winter.

Flexible & Efficient

Heat pumps are an increasingly common solution for home heating and cooling partially due to their flexibility in providing both heating and cooling, but also for their efficiency. They are significantly more efficient than electric resistance heating, providing three to four times more heating using the same amount of electricity. Homeowners who switch from electric baseboard heating to a heat pump see drastic reductions in their electric bills during the winter, while also offering additional savings during the summer cooling season. Some models – commonly referred to as cold climate heat pumps – now offer full heating capacity at low outdoor temperatures and efficient operation at temperatures even below zero degrees Fahrenheit (0°F).

No Worry Winters

It's true! Air source heat pumps for both heating and cooling will work in negative temperatures during Wisconsin's extremely cold winters.

Our handy Heat Pump Guide is the best place to start if you're considering saving money on your utility bills. Find a Focus on Energy Trade Ally when you're ready to include heat pumps into your energy efficiency journey!

Find a Focus on Energy Trade Ally

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