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What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is an air conditioner that can also work in reverse to heat your home in the winter.

When paired with a gas furnace, it’s a great, cost-effective way to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

How does a heat pump work?

Heat pumps work by moving heat from one area to another.

In the summer, a heat pump works as an air conditioner and pushes heat from your home outdoors. In the winter, it works in the opposite direction and “pumps” heat from the outside air into the house to keep you warm.

This video gives you a closer look at how heat pumps operate year round.

What are the benefits of a heat pump?

Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular and the main reason for this is their energy efficiency.

Heat pumps can cut your electricity use by 50%, making it more affordable in the long run. While they do require some electricity to move heat, they are also able to produce up to 3 times more energy than they consume.

Other systems, such as electric furnaces, can only produce as much energy as they consume. Heat pumps are different because heat isn’t being created, it’s simply being moved to a more desirable area (inside of your home in the winter). This makes heat pumps the most efficient source of electric heat.

“But do heat pumps work in the cold Minnesota winter?”

Considering that heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the outside air, this is a valid question.

The answer is yes and no.

Even at very low temperatures, the cold outside air still has a substantial amount of heat that can be absorbed and moved into your home. However, once the temperature drops below 30 degrees, backup heat is needed to keep your home as warm as you need it.

This is when the “dual fuel system” comes into play.

A dual fuel system (also called a hybrid heating system) combines a heat pump with a gas furnace.

The gas furnace is used as supplemental heat and only turns on when the heat pump can no longer heat the house sufficiently on its own.

This way, you get the energy efficiency of a heat pump for most of winter, but can still keep your home warm on the coldest of days.

Get pricing on a new heat pump

Ready for a heating system that offers big savings and is energy-efficient? Get started with a free estimate on a heat pump installation.