Heat Pump can’t handle the winter cold

My husband and I hired a professional building contractor to handle the construction of our new home.

We took his advice for everything from the wiring and plumbing to the heating and cooling system.

We should have hired professionals in each of these fields. While the general contractor was knowledgeable and very helpful in determining the pitch of the roof, location of the windows and various building materials, he isn’t qualified to design a plumbing or HVAC system. He recommended that we install an electric heat pump to manage heating and cooling requirements. Although a heat pump is more expensive to purchase and install than many other types of temperature control, the system combines heating and cooling capacity into a single unit. This saves space and money. Plus, the heat pump doesn’t burn fossil fuels to generate heat, eliminating a whole bunch of safety risks. The system is wonderfully clean, quiet and environmentally friendly. Because it moves heat from one location to another, it is extremely energy efficient. During the summer, it acts much like an air conditioner and pulls heat from inside the house. In colder weather, the heat pump reverses direction and works by taking advantage of ambient heat in the outdoor air. This process is super effective and efficient until the outdoor temperature falls below freezing. At that point, the heat pump can no longer keep up and our home is chilly. Since we live in the northeast, the weather is well below freezing for about six straight months. We’re forced to supplement the heat pump with space heaters.

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