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Dynamic Heating and Cooling LLC Blog

Do Heat Pumps Work Well in Virginia?


If the world of HVAC had a rising star, it’d be the heat pump. These 2-in-1 heating and cooling systems are all the rage and for good reason.

Their versatility and eco-efficiency give homeowners flexible options for home comfort that’ll save money in utility bills–for both heating and cooling. Flexibility and efficiency, all year long. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But perhaps you’ve heard that heat pumps don’t perform well in climates with cold winter temperatures like ours here in Virginia.

In a nutshell, they most certainly do! Let’s dispel the myth that heat pumps aren’t appropriate for our climate. In fact, we believe that heat pump installation in Culpeper, VA is a smart, sensible option, and here’s why.

The Science of Heat Pumps

Knowing how heat pumps work is essential to understanding why they’re a good fit for Virginia. The aptly named heat pump pumps heat. In contrast to central HVAC systems, they don’t generate heat (or rely on fuel to do so).

They heat homes by capturing, transferring, and concentrating the heat energy that’s present in the outside air. You can see how this earns them the reputation of being eco-friendly and highly energy efficient. 

But you’re probably also wondering how a heat pump pulls heat from the air when the outside temperature is below freezing. Even when it’s cold outside, there’s still enough heat energy in the ambient air for a heat pump to tap into.

here are also cold-climate heat pumps that are designed to perform well when temperatures plummet. 

The “Heat Pumps Perform Poorly in Cold Climates” Myth 

You might be wondering how heat pumps and cold climates got such a bad rap. It’s because at one point, it was true. This is before recent advancements in heat pump technology came about. 

Heat pumps used to struggle when temperatures hit the freezing point. They still worked, just not as efficiently. However, thanks to technological innovations, today’s heat pumps are designed to work efficiently even in below-freezing temperatures. 

How Do Cold-Climate Heat Pumps Different?

The cold-climate heat pump (CCHP) can heat a home efficiently even when the temperature drops below -20°F. When compared to central heating systems such as furnaces, heat pumps are still more energy-efficient in temperatures that are this cold. 

Cold-climate or cold-weather heat pumps utilize a different type of refrigerant than air-source heat pumps. The refrigerant has a lower boiling point that allows the heat pump to draw more heat energy from the ambient air.

Some CCHPs feature backup heating elements that turn on in negative temperatures to keep your home warm.

Homeowners also have the option of pairing their heat pump with a backup heating source for extremely cold weather. 

Professional Installation Matters

It takes a professional HVAC company to be able to advise you on the best heat pump for your home’s needs. Your home’s insulation and where the heat pump will be located are all important factors that need to be considered before having a heat pump installed when maximum efficiency is the end goal. 

Our motto here at Dynamic Heating and Cooling LLC is “Excellence in Everything We Do!” So when you need exceptional heat pump service, we’re the contractor to contact.

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