Florida homes need to be cool. It’s not really an option in the summer and throughout much of the year. But, it’s also a costly endeavor as the average central AC system in Southern Florida doesn’t tend to last more than 10 years. The system is used too much to get more life than that. Routine care and maintenance may get you to 15 years if you’re lucky. But, it’s more likely that you’ll hit 10 years and need a replacement.
Heat pumps are newer technology and they’re gaining traction. Much of this is that they double up and are a heat source and AC in one. Here’s the reason why they’re becoming a popular option. They can outlive an AC with an average lifespan of up to 20 years or more, provided you have it maintained as recommended. It’s time to take a closer look at the growing popularity of heat pumps.
What Is a Heat Pump?
So, what is a heat pump anyway and how does it work? Much of this comes down to the type of heat pump.
A general heat pump is a system that draws on the hot air outside in the winter and brings it inside to heat a home. In the warmer months, it draws hot air from inside your home and brings it outside. Compressed coolant is used to collect that heat, so they’re similar to a traditional AC system in that means. They do this without relying on natural gas, propane, or other fossil fuels, which is better for the environment.
The biggest difference is that a heat pump can be used to heat your home, too. While Miami’s weather tends to be warm, there are those random cold snaps that leave you shivering. Back in 2010, temperatures dipped to 35º F. That’s not the coldest temperature on record either. It hit 30º F in both 1985 and 1989. Realistically, if the temperatures are in the 40s or 50s, a home needs to be warmed up and a heat pump can do that.
In addition to a standard heat pump, there are geothermal heat pumps that originated in the 1940s. They can heat your home, cool your home, and even provide hot water. It’s known that temperatures underground are warmer than the air during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A geothermal heat pump uses this science to heat and cool your home using compressors and fans. They require less maintenance, last longer, and are extremely quiet.
How much longer? Energy.gov reports that geothermal heat pumps can last up to 24 years for the components within your home and 50 or more years for the ground loop system.
What Are the Benefits?
You’ve relied on window AC or, more likely, central AC for years. Why is a heat pump the wiser choice? There are seven key benefits to heat pumps.
- Cost Savings
The amount of money you save is one of the leading benefits of a heat pump. There is the initial cost to have a system installed. It includes the internal unit that’s attached to the wall and then there are the pipes that pass through the wall and connect to the outdoor unit.
But, once installed, the system lasts longer and cuts your utility bills. That’s when the money starts adding up. If you choose a geothermal heat pump, the EPA estimates savings of more than $1,000 per year.
- Energy Efficiency
Heat pumps are designed to be energy efficient. They’re not going to rely on costly propane, natural gas, or heating oil. They use hot and cold air and some electricity. If you pair them with an alternate energy source like solar power, you’ll find your energy bills are minimal.
- Improved Air Quality
As a heat pump cools or heats your home, it’s drawing air from within your home and passing it through HEPA filters. Dust, pet dander, odors, pollen, and other allergens are removed from the air you breathe. It’s beneficial if you’re prone to allergies or have asthma.
- Less Maintenance
If you think about the things that you have to do for an AC system, the list can be extensive. With a heat pump, it’s easier. A couple of times a year, check the outdoor heat pump unit for leaves and other debris. Clean your filters when necessary and use a hose to spray off the coils as needed.
Every couple of years (depending on usage), you should have a technician check the electrical terminals, check the refrigerant and make sure it’s not leaking, check the airflow, inspect the ducts, coils, and blower, check the belts, and lubricate the motor.
A central AC system should have filters changed each month. You also need to check the drain line, check your air registers and make sure hair isn’t clogging them, and clean coils several times a year. Once a year, technicians will check the thermostat, electricals, belts, fans, drain pans and lines, and refrigerant.
- Lowered Emissions
A heat pump does not produce any emissions or greenhouse gases. They’re beneficial for the environment for this reason. You’ll lower your carbon footprint, and the use of solar or wind energy and reduce it even more.
- Longer Lifespan
We’ve already touched on the lifespan, but you get more life out of a heat pump. They run efficiently and are designed to last upwards of 20 years. In Florida’s heat, it’s still expected that systems will last around 15 years, even with excessive use. Invest in a geothermal heat pump, and they can last even longer. You save money by needing to replace the unit less frequently.
In addition to cooling your home, heat pumps are versatile and can heat your Miami home when winter hits those chilly 30s and 40s at night. With a geothermal system, you also gain the ability to have hot water generated by the system. It’s a three-in-one solution to your home’s heating and cooling needs.
When you want an option that provides heat on a cold day, cooling on a hot day, and even hot water, you can’t beat a heat pump. Where do you get them?
Learn More by Talking to the AC Experts at All Year Cooling
With a heat pump, you save energy, improve the comfort in your home all year long, and you also reduce emissions. This system is proving to be reliable and fulfills many of your heating and cooling goals at once. When it’s time for a new cooling system, consider taking advantage of the benefits a heat pump offers.
Federal tax incentives are available for systems that have a SEER2 of 16 or greater, EER2 of 12 or greater, and HSPF2 of 9 or greater for a ductless system, and all ducted heat pumps are eligible.
Are you interested in learning more about heat pumps for your Southern Florida home? All Year Cooling has the expertise you need to make the right decision. We’ll help you better understand how a heat pump works, what programs are available to help you save money, and complete a free estimate to help you compare a central AC to a heat pump and determine which best fits your needs.