What’s a Heat Pump? Why is It More Efficient than a furnace/regular AC?

The idea of a heat pump—there are several types— is that it doesn’t generate heat for your home, but uses electricity to transfer heat into your home or in the case of air conditioning transfer heat outside.

There are three main types:air-to-air, water source, and geothermal, which respectively gather heat from air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for comfort inside. 

We recently installed a heat pump (air to air) when our AC died. The timing of installation was fortunate as it was well completed during an amazingly wonderful pleasant summer in the bay area before last week’s Sahara desert-like weather that challenged California’s energy grid. If we live long enough, the heat pump’s efficiency will pay for its extra cost.

Putin’s perfidy may have an unintended consequence of helping stem climate change. Poland is turning to heat pumps to avoid being beholden to Russia’s natural gas, also their own use of energy from coal. Let’s hope the rest of Europe follows. Germany seems determined to also wean itself from Russia’s gas.

We are living in a strange new world.