How Can Heat Pumps Operate in Freezing Temperatures?

October 19, 2022
Heat Pump in Urbana, IL

Homeowners here in Paxton, IL know how important a reliable home heating system is in the winter. So, when we tell residents about the latest in heat pump technology, they all ask the same question. They want to know if heat pumps continue to work in freezing temperatures. It’s a reasonable question, given that heat pumps rely on the outdoor air to heat homes. Here’s the answer.

How Heat Pumps Work

Air-source heat pumps boast efficiency that other heating systems can’t match. It’s because they don’t use fuel or electricity to generate heat. Instead, they capture heat from the outside air and carry it indoors. This is possible because, even when the outside temperature drops, there’s still heat available in the air.

To capture it, heat pumps circulate refrigerant through an outdoor unit. Since it’s much colder than the air temperature, the refrigerant can absorb heat energy from the air even at low outside temperatures. The process works quite efficiently even when the temperature gets as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat Pumps in Sub-freezing Temperatures

When the outside temperature dips below 30 degrees, most heat pumps engage a secondary electric or gas-powered heating element. That allows them to ensure that they’re providing plenty of heat for a home. So, no matter how low the outside temperature drops, heat pumps continue to provide reliable heat.

The trade-off, of course, is that a heat pump loses some efficiency in ultra-low temperatures. It’s important to note, though, that even then, they tend to exceed the efficiency of conventional heating systems. In other words, a heat pump operating in the most adverse conditions is still going to save you money compared to other options.

Consult the Heat Pump Experts

If you’re considering an upgrade to your home’s heating system, you should consider a heat pump. At Dogtown Heating, Air & Plumbing, we can help you to choose one that meets your home’s heating needs. Give Dogtown Heating, Air & Plumbing a call today and ask us about the latest heat pump technology for your home. We also offer a full line of heating, cooling, and plumbing services.

company icon