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Posts Tagged: Heat Pumps

Heat pumps vs. furnaces

Posted On: Filed Under: Heating, Furnace, Heat pump No Comments on Heat pumps vs. furnaces

Furnaces are the traditional means of heating buildings. These devices use fuel to generate heat and then use a fan to circulate this heat through the building. There are gas furnaces, oil furnaces and electric furnaces.

Heat pumps act as sort of a reverse air conditioner. Instead of transferring heat from inside the building to its exterior, these machines absorb heat from the air or ground outside and transfer it inside the building. Even in cold outside air, heat energy is present. This heat outside is absorbed into a refrigerant that is evaporated at a low pressure and piped inside the facility. Once inside, the refrigerant is compressed back into a liquid. This process releases the heat that is then distributed throughout the building.

Pros & Cons of A Furnace

Perhaps the chief advantage of furnace is the start-up cost. These devices are fairly simple machines that use a very well-established technology. As such, they are inexpensive to install. Also, the effectiveness of a furnace is not impacted by the weather. As long as the machine has fuel, it will have no problem in producing heat. These machines do have some drawbacks, however. Depending on local power rates and your source of fuel, they can be expensive to operate. Furnaces also produce carbon emissions that can be harmful to the environment. These machines also typically have more maintenance needs than heat pumps.

Pros & Cons of A Heat Pump

Heat pumps’ greatest advantages are their energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Heat pumps are incredibly energy efficient, requiring less energy to use than traditional furnaces. This results in less carbon emissions and lower power bills. They also do not dry out the air the way furnaces do, so property owners won’t have to purchase humidifiers to add moisture back into the air.

Heat pump devices are more expensive to install than traditional furnaces, but credits or rebates from utilities may be available to help defray the cost of installation. Heat pump devices also do not work as well at very low temperatures, as there is less heat in the air for them to absorb energy from. Washington’s climate is mild, meaning that in all but the coldest of conditions, heat pumps should work fine. In parts of the country where heat pumps don’t work as well, they are often supplemented by an electric furnace. Heat pumps that draw heat from geothermal energy in the ground are also a solution to this problem.

Whether to purchase a furnace or a heat pump is largely a question of how much property owners want to spend up front and the climate of their area. How environmentally friendly property owners want their homes and businesses to be also plays into the decision.

About Washington Energy

Washington Energy Services is a family-owned business providing home energy efficiency solutions to Seattle area clients. Founded in 1957, Washington Energy Services has generations of experience in providing heating and cooling and other energy-related services, including sales, installation and service. A member of the Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network, Washington Energy Services has an excellent local business reputation.

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Heat pumps vs. AC infographic

Posted On: Filed Under: Air conditioning, Heat pump 11 Comments on Heat pumps vs. AC infographic

seattle heat pump service


Heat Pump vs AC’s – An infographic by the Green Team at Washington Energy

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Words of wisdom from your heat pump

Posted On: Filed Under: Ductless heat pump, Heat pump No Comments on Words of wisdom from your heat pump

(courtesy of our Service Manager who has thumbs and can pen this)

Hello, heat pump here; did you enjoy your winter?

I have been working hard all winter, taking heat energy from outside and bringing it into your house. By the way, I have been delivering heat in the most efficient way for the PNW, saving you money on your utility bills.  To do that, I have been enduring wind, rain, sleet and even a little snow and whoa, what’s that bird leaving behind there!

I’m looking forward to providing you some air conditioning this summer too.  But to ensure that we get the winter wear behind us and are cool to cool, how about having a certified service technician come out and give me a tune-up.  Without it, I can lose up to 5% of efficiency per year and that costs more than the tune – up in the long run.

Here’s what the tech would do:

  • Remove dust, dirt and debris.
  • Test all operative parts in a 37 point diagnostic.
  • Go over my health with you.

It takes about an hour or so for a technician to tune me up.  They go through a 37 point diagnostic testing everything from the coil to the reversing valve to make sure everything is in tip top shape.  They will give you a detailed report on how I have been running and any issues that may reduce my useful life or lead to part failures.  It’s cheaper to maintain or repair than replace me.  If you could be so kind to give me a tune-up I promise to keep delivering the comfort, efficiency and reliability that you invested in!


Your Heat Pump

PS: My sister the Air Conditioner says, “me too”.


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