I used the wrong title: What are the pros and cons to a HEAT PUMP not hydronic system

Sorry folks. It not hydronic but heat pump



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It depends on your energy options. If you have all electric servive then a heatpump is definately for you. A heatpump provides 3 units of heating for every one unit of electricity you buy. Electric heat gives you one unit of heat for every one unit of electricity that you buy.


Hope this helps 

Hi Judi,

A heat pump is an air conditioner with a reversing valve that allows it to run in reverse in the winter for heat and still provide A/C in the summer. They are a good choice for so. cal.

Modern high efficiency heat pumps are great. The older ones are horribly inefficient and use ozone depleting(R-11 and R-12) CFC freon. If the nameplate says that it uses either of these, the heat pump should be replaced. The refrigerant can be sold back to the supplier for re-use. If the nameplate says R-22, that is an HCFC, a stepping stone between the old and new. These should be replaced, but not immediately.

Heat pump efficiency is stated as SEER Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, 12 and greater is good.

Lastly, heat pumps that are not properly charged and tuned will run inefficiently, sometimes causing the back-up heating elements to energize using a tremendous amount of electricity.


Like most subjects this one is more complicated than a brief reply leaves gaps but...

Heat pumps are a great option and are used throughout the US. Heat pumps have received some bad press, but a lot of that is because of installation/service/design problems. Like any HVAC system heat pumps are an applied system and if they are not properly designed, installed and serviced the homeowner will likely end up dissatisfied. That includes the duct work - many heating and cooling systems have problems and get a bad rap because the duct is not properly designed and installed.

With all that being said the Pros & Cons may vary depending on what you are comparing them to.

Pros: more energy efficient - heat pumps are rated in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) for cooling and HSPF (heating season performence factor) for heating (there are other ratings that apply but these are the primary). However, an older less frequently used rating COP (Coefficient of Performence) is more telling. If a HP had a COP of 3 that would mean that for every unit of energy in - you get 3 out. Compared to electric heat which is a 1 to 1 and fossil fuel furnaces the highest of which are rated at 97% (AFUE)(less than 1 to 1). More "Financially efficient": VS electric resistance heat, heat pumps will cost less; VS natural gas or oil: this of course depends on the electric rate vs. the cost of gas (assuming fossil fuel is an option). Typically heat pumps are still more cost efficient. Comfort: discharge temperature - this can also be a "con" - the discharge air temp is lower than fossil fuel systems. Many people are more comfortable with this lower temperature, they say it doesn't "dry them out" like a gas furnace.

Cons: Initial cost is probably higher. Comfort (possible): if a person is accustomed to having hot air blow on them they may not like a heat pump because the dischage air temp is lower. Capacity: the capacity of a conventional (air to air) heat pump varies as the outside temperature changes - the lower the outdoor temp - the lower the capacity. So it is critical that it be properly sized and designed. Or you could go with a geothermal heat pump that has a much more consistent output because of the consistency of ground temps.



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