Deciding upon a new heating and cooling system for your Central Indiana home is a tall order. While air conditioners and furnaces are a common combination, many homeowners are opting to install heat pumps.

Homeowners who aren’t familiar with these systems often wonder whether heat pumps work well in Indiana? Star Heating & Cooling discusses the pros and cons of installing a heat pump in the Hoosier state so you can make an informed decision when it’s time to select new heating and cooling equipment for your home.

Advantages of Heat Pump Installation in Indiana

Installing an air-source heat pump in your Indiana home can deliver these valuable benefits:

Energy-Efficient Heating

Air conditioners and heat pumps perform virtually the same for cooling, but heat pumps are able to heat homes as well, while air conditioners obviously cannot. When used in heating mode is when the real differences in energy efficiency are on display between heat pumps and conventional heating units like gas furnaces. Air-source heat pumps are as much as 300 percent efficient, while the best gas furnaces are only up to 98 percent efficient.

Homeowners are often under the impression that heat pumps do not operate efficiently when temperatures are extreme, as they often are some days during our winters. The truth is, heat pumps still operate very efficiently even during cold weather. However, a unit’s efficiency does decline as temperatures drop below freezing. This creates a larger difference for the heat pump to accommodate between indoor and outdoor temperatures.

Many homeowners choose to install a backup heating system, often a gas furnace, to run when the heat pump isn’t the most efficient option or needs additional help keeping the home comfortable. The system will automatically switch between the two heating methods when conditions dictate, so you always use the most efficient heating option.

Better Humidity Control

While cooling performance and energy efficiency is basically the same between air conditioners and heat pumps, there is one area where heat pumps excel that can make a real difference in your summertime comfort. Heat pumps tend to dehumidify air better than conventional air conditioners. When using a heat pump instead of a gas furnace in the winter, you won’t experience any additional drying of the air inside your home, as is common with gas heating.

Are heat pumps good to use in Indiana? For humidity control, yes. Because the high humidity can make the heat feel much more uncomfortable and gas heating can further dry out already dry winter air, this is an important plus for Hoosier homeowners.

Cons of Using Heat Pumps in Indiana

The cons aren’t really affected by our location or climate. Instead, there are some general differences between heat pumps and furnace/air conditioning systems that some may consider drawbacks.

Costs

Heat pumps typically come with more costs than a furnace and air conditioner HVAC system. First, buying and installing a heat pump system has a higher average cost than purchasing a new furnace and air conditioner combo and having it professionally installed. Heat pumps have more mechanical parts than furnaces and installation can be more difficult, increasing the cost of this service.

With more moving parts and year-round operation, heat pumps generally require more repairs than furnaces or air conditioners. Because heat pumps do two jobs and run two times as often compared to the solo functionalities of furnaces and air conditioners, heat pump systems usually do not last as long as other HVAC unit types. Heat pumps have an average service life between 10 and 12 years while furnaces last 15 to 20 years and air conditioners 10 to 15 on average. Of course, maintenance care also impacts the lifespan of an HVAC unit, and it is possible to get more years of service from your heat pump with regular maintenance.

Are Heat Pumps Good in Indiana? You Decide!

If you’re trying to decide whether a heat pump is a good choice for your Indianapolis area or Indiana home, why not ask your trusted local HVAC contractor? Star Heating & Cooling is available to help you compare HVAC units and make the best choice for your Central Indiana home. Contact us today to request an estimate for new heating and cooling system installation.