Heat Pumps – What You Need to Know


Energy efficient heat pump

In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about heat pumps.  Heat pumps are modern and highly popular HVAC products that provide excellent climate control for both residential and commercial buildings. A heat pump is one of the many types of HVAC products available on the market today, so it is important to understand what makes them different from other equipment.

In this post, we will provide a comprehensive rundown of heat pumps, including the different types, how they work, pros and cons, and how to decide if they are right for you.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a two-in-one heating and cooling system. It typically comes with an indoor unit known as an air handler and an outdoor unit. These function in unison to push heat into your home during the winter, and remove heat during the summer.

Since a heat pump can move heat in both directions without using fossil fuels, it is often used in place of a central air conditioner system combined with a gas furnace.

How do heat pumps work?

In the warm months, a heat pump will remove the heat inside your home using compressed refrigerant. It sends the heat to the air handler, which then disperses it outdoors. This process will occur when the thermostat is set to “Cool.”

Similarly, during the cold season, the heat pump collects heat from outside and releases it into your home. It is not generating any heat, but rather, moving it from one place to another. Amazingly, it works even in very cold temperatures. This occurs on the system’s “Heat” setting, which is simply the reverse process of “Cool.”

Types of heat pumps

Heat pumps come in two different types: air-source and ground-source. Air-source heat pumps are the most common type, and they operate exactly as described above, moving heat from the outdoor air into your home.

On the other hand, ground-source heat pumps, also known as geothermal, collect heat directly from the earth. This type of system completely foregoes fossil fuels and electric resistance, and since the ground sustains a steady temperature all year, ground-source heat pumps are extremely energy efficient when compared to the alternatives. However, these are usually more expensive to install.

The pros and cons of heat pumps

The cooling process of a heat pump is basically the same one that occurs in a central air conditioner, and there is not a significant difference in efficiency or energy costs between the two. However, the heating process is much different from a typical furnace, and it is much more energy-efficient, which leads us to our first pro.


  1. Since heat pumps move heat into your home rather than producing it, they eliminate the need for fossil fuels. This makes it an extremely efficient option and a healthier choice for the environment.
  2. During the winter, heat pumps keep your home warm using less energy than a furnace. This means you will save on monthly energy bills.
  3. Heat pumps tend to keep your indoor temperatures more consistent, therefore increasing your comfort.
  4. During the winter when humidity is higher, heat pumps can remove the excess moisture in the air.


  1. In sub-freezing temperatures, heat pumps may not be able to keep up as well as other heating equipment. It will still heat your home, but it will use more energy, therefore losing efficiency.
  2. Since a heat pump operates year-round, it typically does not last as long as a central air conditioner.

Is a heat pump right for you - Pretty Indian woman chilling on a comfortable armchair

Is a heat pump right for you?

For homes and businesses in Central California, heat pumps are an excellent option for your comfort needs. This is because the region has a moderate climate and does not get very cold.

In fact, this HVAC technology is perfect for the mild winters and warm, dry summers we experience here in the Tri-Valley and Central Valley areas.

If you do live in a region that reaches temperatures below freezing, you may consider pairing a heat pump with your furnace, as this can increase your energy efficiency up to 30%.

No matter where you live, always consider the upfront installation costs of new equipment in relation to the energy savings it will provide over time. While heat pumps do not last as long as central air conditioners, the energy savings they provide during the winter may be more valuable than longevity.

Maintaining your heat pump

Speaking of longevity, you can extend the life of your system with regular maintenance. HVAC tune-ups have many benefits, including lower energy costs, cleaner air, less costly repairs, and of course, a longer system lifespan. Also, remember to change your air filters regularly. This will ensure better comfort and indoor air quality when it matters most.

Eagle Air offers membership plans that include two maintenance visits every year along with discounts on diagnostics, repair work, and replacement parts. Members will also enjoy priority scheduling, exclusive specials, and a one-year workmanship warranty on repairs.

If you are interested in learning more about heat pumps, maintenance plans, or other HVAC services, call your local experts at Eagle Air. We offer new equipment and quality repair work for a wide variety of trusted brands. If you are concerned about the cost of a new HVAC system, ask about our quick and convenient financing options.

When you combine superior products with the outstanding workmanship of our technicians, you can be confident that your comfort needs will be met and exceeded consistently. Get started or learn more by giving us a call or reaching out on our website!

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About us

Eagle Air is a recognized leader in HVAC design, installation, and repair throughout the Tri-Valley, Modesto Central Valley, and surrounding areas. We provide repairs, installations, and replacements of residential and commercial heating and cooling systems. Our technicians specialize in handling all makes and models, so you don’t have to worry. At Eagle Air, we understand how important it is to have a properly functioning HVAC system. Let us take care of your comfort.

Integrity is what we say, what we do, and what we say we do.

Our NATE certified professionals have served the Tri-Valley, Central Valley, and surrounding areas since 1993. We are committed to providing the best heating and cooling solutions for our customers within their budget. To emphasize this commitment, we offer free estimates on new HVAC systems, customized solutions, parts and labor guarantees, financing, and discounts on select services.

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