Where I live, we have long winters, so because heating plan is a priority, I went several years without bothering with air conditioning. Although our summers are hot and humid, they don’t last very long, but it can be hard to sleep, and the moisture encourages the growth of mold, dust mites and mildew.
When I finally decided to get a central cooling system, I scheduled a consultation with my HVAC contractor. Instead of a conventional air conditioner, he suggested an electric heat pump. Since an electric pump is substantially more expensive than an air conditioner, I was suspicious he was only seeking a bigger commission, but after researching, I changed my mind. A heat pump works a lot like an air conditioner in the summer, transferring heat from inside the house to the outside, creating a cooling effect. It’s better at combating excess humidity, operates quietly, and is wonderfully energy efficient. In the winter, the heat pump reverses direction, finds plentiful warmth in outside air, and brings heat into the house. The heat pump is far more energy efficient than my furnace, and won’t dry the indoor air excessively. However, they are only effective when the weather outside is above freezing; once below, the gas furnace automatically takes over, keeping the house perfectly warm.
Because heat pumps carry some of the workload, our weekly energy costs are lower. The combination of the gas furnace plus electric heat pump is known as a dual fuel plan plus is absolutely a smart investment.