What Is a Heat Pump?

Cropped shot of a senior couple spending quality time together at home.

Heat pumps are everywhere these days. They star in news stories, online reviews, new tax credits, and climate change legislation.

Heat pumps are trending, even though they have heated and cooled homes throughout the United States for decades.

We have our share of these electricity-powered workhorses here in Central Texas. Our expert technicians at AiRCO Mechanical, Ltd. have installed many in homes and businesses because our customers recognize that heat pumps are a more efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly alternative to furnaces and boilers. 

Heat pumps are versatile heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC} units. It is no wonder that last year, they outsold gas furnaces in the U.S. for the first time and are a primary component of the nationwide effort to move away from fossil fuels toward electrification.  

Is a heat pump right for your Round Rock home? 

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps work in much the same way as air conditioners:

  • Both remove heat and humidity from your indoor air and expel it outdoors.
  • They share the same major parts, including an evaporator coil and fan indoors and a compressor and condenser coil outdoors.
  • Tubing that carries refrigerant connects the coils and compressor. 

Heat pumps have a valve that reverses the direction the refrigerant travels when the unit is in heating mode. That enables the equipment to cool and remove humidity from your home in the summer and heat it in the winter.

Types of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps that extract heat from the air are called air-source heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps collect heat from below the ground or inside a body of water. Geothermal heat pumps are even more efficient than their air-source cousins, but installation costs are more expensive. 

Air-source heat pumps are the most popular type of heat pumps nationwide. 

Versatile System

The fact that heat pumps do the job of two HVAC units makes them a popular alternative to separate heating and cooling equipment. Heat pumps dehumidify better than air conditioners. They also are more energy efficient than gas furnaces.

A cold-climate heat pump can keep your Round Rock home cozy and comfortable even when outdoor temperatures fall well below freezing.

Maintenance Saves Energy

At AiRCO Mechanical, we recommend twice-a-year tune-ups for heat pumps because they work year-round, unlike other heating and cooling systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says a neglected heat pump uses 10 to 25 percent more energy than a well-maintained one.

There are no combustion-related problems with heat pumps because they do not burn fuel to create heat. Potential carbon monoxide poisoning or natural gas leaks that affect furnaces do not occur with heat pumps. 

Financial Advantage

You can get help from the federal government to pay for a new heat pump through 2032. Tax credits and rebates will bring installation costs down for many Americans. 

The federal government offers 30 percent tax credits for qualified heating and cooling equipment. The maximum credit is $2,000 for heat pumps and $600 for air conditioners, boilers, and furnaces.

Federal dollars will also be available in the form of point-of-purchase rebates. Individual states are administering the rebate program, which could roll out as early as fall 2024. The program primarily helps low- and moderate-income households. The maximum rebate for a heat pump is $8,000. 

Ask Our Experts for a Consultation

Find out how a heat pump can benefit your Round Rock, TX, home. Our qualified technicians at AiRCO Mechanical, Ltd. can recommend a heat pump that fills your heating and cooling needs. Call us at 512-537-1234 or request service online.

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at AiRCO Mechanical.

Call us at 512-537-1234!