Does Your Sacramento Home Need a Heat Pump? The Cheap and Green Future of HVAC

heat pump sacramentoThis year, Sacramento County was one of three counties nationwide designated “Tech Savvy” by the Public Technology Institute, a nationwide technology and energy assessment group. [1.] It’s great to see an outside agency recognizing what we here at Bell Brothers have known for a long time: folks in the Central Valley are forward-thinking and ecologically minded! And we’ve seen proof of that with early adoption of heat pump technology, a frankly amazing development in heating and cooling the home.

How Does It Work?

A heat pump is a relatively simple piece of technology that provides an elegant solution to the normally expensive process of heating or cooling a home. At the basic level, they move hot air and cold air out of the house. Not too complicated, right? On hot days fans bring cool air in and move hot air out of the house, cooling the entire building. Similarly, on cold days a pump moves cold air out and brings in warm air, warming the building. It does this without using gas or electricity to generate heat—in fact, the biggest use of electricity is to run the fans that move air. Really, a heat pump operates similarly to your AC unit, except it can also heat the building.[2.]

Heat pumps work best in moderate to warm climates, like ours here in the Valley. In these areas, a single heat pump can be the only device necessary to heat and cool the home. They perform both functions using much less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems, and many of our clients find that replacing their traditional devices with a single heat pump leaves them with a much smaller utility bill each month. When you hear about folks’ energy bills reaching triple digits in the summer, it’s easy to see how this kind of system could help save some serious money.

Maintenance and Installation

Like traditional HVAC technology, heat pumps require routine maintenance. These devices are reliable and cost-effective to operate, but both qualities hinge on the pump being maintained correctly. The lifespan for a good heat pump is many years, but you can still expect to deal with occasional repair just as with anything else. It’s important to pick a good contractor for heat pump repair as well as installation—not every contractor knows how to work on this kind of equipment and they don’t respond well to inexperienced tinkering.

These devices can also have a relatively high cost of entry; this is offset by the fact that you only need to install one device and you’ll save money on the electric bill every month. Lower energy use means this technology is very green and eco-friendly; there are even rebates in many cities and counties to help make a heat pump affordable for you to install.

Should You Go for a Heat Pump?

At this point you’re probably at least toying with the idea of replacing your current HVAC technology with something more efficient. You already know that by switching to a heat pump you can expect energy savings and likely an improvement in performance as well. You can also expect some regular maintenance—no more than your heater, but also no skipping checkups and fixes. You also know they can be expensive at the onset—again, offset by the savings in energy and rebate potential. And we understand that you probably have two perfectly working HVAC units—a heater and air-conditioning—likely with years of life left. It’s a leap of faith to scrap working technology, even for a simpler, greener, and cheaper option.

Only you can make the decision, but we’d love to hear from you if you’re considering this technology. We can counsel and advise, giving you the information you need to choose what’s best for you. If that means a new heat pump, we’re happy to help as you head toward a greener, cheaper future. We’re excited by this new technology, and we love talking about heat pumps almost as much as we love working on them. Please give Bell Brothers a call today.