The short answer?
Yes, heat pumps work well in Kansas City homes because they:
- Heat AND cool your home
- Have low operational costs during mild months
We’ll elaborate on both of these points below. But first, we’d like to preface this article with some advice: If you’re considering a heat pump, you should consult a professional..
Why? A professional will provide accurate recommendations on what type of HVAC system is best for your home, based on your home’s construction and your heating preferences.
Now let’s take a deeper dive into the reasons why a heat pump is a great option for a Kansas City homeowner…
Reason #1: Heat pumps heat and cool your home
A heat pump is an air conditioner and heating system all-in-one, which means you don’t have to invest in two separate systems.
That means that in the spring and summer, a heat pump works exactly like an air conditioner: it takes warm air inside your home and dumps it outside.
In the fall and winter, a heat pump pulls heat from an outside source to heat your home. The outside heat source varies depending on the type of heat pump you have.
The 3 main types of heat pumps include:
- Air source heat pump: This heat pump extracts heat from outdoor air and brings it inside to heat your home. Air source heat pumps are most efficient when temperatures are between 40° and 60° F. They are the most commonly used type of heat pump in Kansas City because they are cheaper to install and take up relatively little space.
- Ground source heat pump: Like its name suggests, ground source heat pumps take heat from the ground or soil and transfer it into your home. Ground source heat pumps are very energy-efficient, but they are also more expensive to install, which limits their popularity in our area.
- Water source heat pump: These heat pumps pull heat from water to heat your home. This type of heat pump isn’t commonly used in Kansas City, and is only a viable option if you have a pond or body of water near your home.
Reason #2: Heat pumps have low operational costs
Air source heat pumps, the most common type of heat pump in Kansas City, can heat your home more efficiently than any other heating system when temperatures are mild (between 40° and 60° F)—which is roughly a third of the year in our area.
That’s because heat pumps transfer heat, rather than creating it directly (like a furnace or boiler).
According to Energy.gov, “heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.”
Your next question is probably: “What about when temperatures drop below 40°?”
When outdoor temperatures drop below 40°, air source heat pumps begin to struggle, which is when electric resistance heating coils will kick in to help.
Since electricity is more expensive than natural gas in our area, we usually recommend that homeowners invest in a dual-fuel system, which is a combination of a gas furnace and a heat pump. When your heat pump loses efficiency because the outdoor air is too cold, the gas furnace will turn on to heat your home.