- Ductless Heat Pumps
- Air Conditioning
- HVAC Conversion Services
- Home Performance Services
January 16, 2019
Winter here in the Pacific Northwest can be considered mild to some standards. Sure, we aren’t spending a full month with single digit temperatures (we’re looking at you, Minnesota), but that doesn’t mean people are headed to work in tank tops and swimming trunks in the middle of January, either (now we’re looking at you, Florida). A home heating system that operates smoothly and efficiently is essential to any home in Portland or Vancouver.
But the well-known method of heating a home using a furnace and ductwork isn’t a perfect system. It can lead to fights over the thermostat, unevenly heated rooms, and expensive heating bills that get increasingly bigger as leaks and deterioration in your ductwork develop over time. This probably has you asking, “Is there a better way to heat my home?”
No Two Homes Are Alike
Here at Revival Energy Group, we spend our days diagnosing the heating and cooling needs of homes in Portland and Vancouver, and one thing is for certain: no two homes are exactly alike. Our holistic approach to home heating and cooling looks at the whole home as a system, which means that even one single adjustment to your home has a ripple effect. Though you may think your furnace is to blame, upgrading your insulation could fix the issue. Or, perhaps proper air sealing will reduce the strain on your heating and cooling systems enough to solve your home comfort woes.
If you have been dealing with furnace frustrations and are looking for a better solution, we recommend answering a few questions:
What is your current heating system?
What areas of your home are the hardest to heat?
How do your heating bills compare to last year?
Do you also struggle to keep your home cool in the summer months?
Let’s Talk About Furnaces
Since the answers to these questions are fresh in your mind, let’s talk about the pros and cons of the traditional furnace when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. Don’t get us wrong; we like gas furnaces just as much as the next HVAC contractor does (we install them, for goodness’ sake). But for older homes that have been added on to, we have found that either the pre-existing ductwork was not re-routed to include the addition, or the added square footage rendered the furnace too small to keep up. In addition, the aforementioned inefficiencies and leaks in ductwork can make gas furnaces much more expensive to operate than other, more efficient solutions.
One reason traditional furnaces have fallen behind in the home heating game is that furnaces have to actively create the heat that is used in a home. Using combustion (and in some cases, electricity) the air in a furnace is heated, and then pushed through ductwork to the vents you see on the walls and floors of a home.
But what if you could take advantage of the ambient heat that is already in the air and more efficiently keep your home at the perfect temperature all year round? With state of the art heat-pump technology, you can.
It may sound like science fiction — or something you would only see at OMSI. But the cutting edge technology of heat pumps utilize the heat that already exists in the surrounding air for use in your home, even when its a low as -15ºF outside. This extremely efficient method of transferring heat generates up to four times the amount of energy it consumes. The most surprising fact about heat pumps is that despite what the name suggests, they provide heat in the winter and cold air in the summertime!
So, how can you put a heat pump to work in your home? There are two ways:
1. Furnace & Air Conditioner Replacement
If you are ready to ditch your outdated furnace, you could have Revival install a heat pump and connect it to your existing ductwork for central heating and cooling, all year round (though we recommend that you ensure your ducts are properly sealed so you are not losing additional energy). This can reduce your energy bills between 35% and 50%, and in some cases it can serve as a replacement for both your furnace and air conditioner.
2. Supplement Your Existing Furnace and Air Conditioner
For homes with additions or particularly hard to reach rooms, a ductless heat pump is a convenient solution for taking advantage of heat pump technology without having to toss your furnace. A ductless heat pump (also known as a mini split) can be installed directly into the room where it is needed and give you complete control over the temperature all year round. This is considered the most efficient way to both heat and cool a single room!