Are Heat Pumps Effective In Arizona?

Are you buying a house that has a heat pump in it? Do you know what a heat pump is? Are you in the market for a new home heating and cooling system and aren’t sure what to do? Hopefully, this guide can offer some clarity on heat pumps and if they can be effective in your Gilbert, Arizona home.

The short answer is yes, heat pumps are incredibly effective in Arizona both because heat pumps are very energy efficient and Arizona is a warmer climate.

The advantages of a heat pump are pretty simple:

  1. Heat pumps are incredibly efficient. An air-source heat pump can deliver 1 ½ to 3 times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes.
  2. Heat pumps work best in warmer climates. Heat pumps generally work well until the temperatures reach between 20 – 40° F, and Arizona rarely reaches these freezing temperatures.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Heat pumps work pretty simply by moving existing thermal energy from one place to another. Heat naturally moves to cooler places. One of the easiest ways to see this is to see what happens when you open a window in the winter. The warm air moves outside to where the air is colder, making the room cool down rapidly.

Heat pumps reverse this same process by taking warm air from a cold area (like outside your home) and moving it to a warmer area (like inside your home).

If you’re interested in more details about how heat pumps can work in your Gilbert, AZ home, check out this video:

How To Use A Heat Pump In Gilbert, Arizona Winter

According to the Department of Energy, 68° F is the perfect temperature to set your heat pump at in the winter when your home is occupied and when your family is awake.

Defrost Mode. Defrost mode is an important part of running a heat pump in the winter. Ice can sometimes form on your heat pump’s outdoor components when the temperature outside drops below freezing.

When the system’s coils get too cold, defrost mode cycles on and will run until the coils reach the temperatures they’re supposed to be. Generally, this takes only about 10 minutes.

While defrost mode is a normal part of running a heat pump in the winter, it can be a problem if it cycles on too often. If your system goes into defrost mode frequently, try changing the air filter and cleaning around the outdoor unit.

If neither of those helps the problem, then give Simply the Best Heating & Cooling a call. Our trained technicians are local to Gilbert, Tempe, and Phoenix and can quickly diagnose a problem and get it fixed right away. You can also conveniently schedule an appointment online.

How To Use A Heat Pump In The Gilbert, AZ Summer

During the hot summer months, heat pumps work just like regular air conditioners, they use a refrigerant to absorb heat from the air inside your home and transport it outside. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Refrigerant enters the outdoor compressor unit as hot low-pressure gas and is then compressed into a high-pressure gas.
  2. Now that it’s hot, high-pressure gas, the refrigerant enters the condenser where it is condensed into a liquid. During this process, the liquid refrigerant gives up its heat which is then radiated back to the outside air.
  3. This cold, pressurized liquid refrigerant moves into the expansion valve, which restricts the flow of the liquid. The pressure begins to subside when entering the expansion valve.
  4. The cold, low-pressure liquid moves into the evaporator, where it absorbs heat from air blown over the evaporator coils and turns into a gas.
  5. Now that it’s a hot, low-pressure gas again, the entire cycle starts over.

Do Heat Pumps Save Money In Gilbert, AZ?

Heat pumps use a relatively small amount of electricity to run, making them less expensive to operate than a natural gas furnace. In Arizona, compared to gas furnaces, heat pumps can be 30% less expensive year-round to run.

Here are some numbers to consider:

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are 95-100% energy efficient. In Arizona, the average cost is 12.37 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That averages out to $36.25 per 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.

Gas Furnace

Gas furnaces can be between 80-97% energy efficient. If we take the lowest (where most homeowners generally land on a new furnace) we can do the same math. Gas in Phoenix averaged around $1.36 per therm. This equals out to about $16.98 per 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.

Heat Pump

Electric heat pumps can be cheaper to run because they are over 100% efficient. This means that even low-end home heat pumps can produce over 3 times more heat than the electricity it uses. With the same electric rate numbers, a heat pump with an 8.5 HSPF rating would cost $15.09 per 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.

Do Gilbert, AZ Heat Pumps Require Ductwork?

Daikin Fit ductless heat pump system If you’re replacing your current HVAC system and considering a heat pump, it’s important to know if all heat pumps require ductwork, or if they can be ductless. The good news is that there are options for both ducted and ductless heat pumps.

A ducted heat pump uses the same sized ductwork as a typical gas furnace and central air conditioning system. So if you currently have a ducted heating and cooling system, chances are we can make a heat pump work.

If you’re looking for ductless options, there are a ton that we have available. We install Daikin ducted and ductless Heat Pump Systems. These include an outdoor unit as well as one or more indoor air handlers. Daikin offers many different types of heat pumps for residential and commercial use.

Ductless mini-split heat pumps are a fantastic option when traditional ductwork either isn’t an option or isn’t desired. The only real “construction” that must be done is drilling a small hole in the wall to accommodate the refrigerant line. The other added benefit is that you have zone control, meaning that you can control the temperature in each room separately from the others.

Daikin Heat Pump Brochure

There are some amazing ductless options on the market now. Daikin’s FIT heat pump is revolutionizing the HVAC industry. To learn more about this awesome piece of equipment, check out our Daikin FIT page.

How Long Do Heat Pumps Last In Arizona?

Because of the extreme heat in Gilbert, AZ heat pumps don’t last quite as long as they might in other locations. The same is true for traditional furnaces and air conditioners though.

In Tempe, AZ the average life expectancy of a heat pump is 10-14 years while the average life expectancy of a traditional furnace and AC unit is 15-20 years.

Because the lifespan is generally a little shorter for heat pumps than traditional HVAC systems, it’s important to consider what brand you are buying and what type of warranty they offer on new systems. Simply the Best Heating & Cooling installs new Daikin heat pump systems and they have one of the industry’s leading warranties. 12-year limited parts and labor warranty is offered on new Daikin heat pump systems.

Heat Pumps vs Furnace & Air Conditioner In Tempe, AZ

As we mentioned above, heat pumps don’t generally last as long as traditional HVAC systems. But we also showed how heat pumps are usually cheaper to run. Here are a few considerations when thinking about replacing your current heating and cooling system or if you’re looking for options on your new construction:

  • Installation costs – Heat pumps are cheaper to install than traditional HVAC systems
  • Operational costs – Heat pumps are less expensive to operate
  • Lifespan – Heat pumps don’t live as long as air conditioners and furnaces
  • Heated air temps – Furnaces deliver hotter air than heat pumps (but preference determines which temperature is better)

If you’re having a hard time deciding which type of unit might be right for you, give us a call. Schedule an appointment to get a free estimate. Our experienced HVAC techs can walk you through the different options available to you. We always make sure to take the time so you feel comfortable with your decision and we never pressure you into buying a certain type of system.

Tempe, AZ Heat Pump FAQs

Will a heat pump add value to my home?

Having a brand new heat pump can add value to your home, but an older heat pump, similar to an old furnace and air conditioner can be a deterrent as home buyers will expect to have to replace it soon. Usually, a new heat pump is expected to recoup between 30% to 50% of its initial cost in market value.

Do heat pumps have filters?

Yes! Air filters are an important part of a heat pump heating and cooling system. Heat Pump air filters should be changed at least twice a year. Need help choosing an air filter type? Check out this blog.

Is a heat pump noisy?

Like any heating and cooling system, there is some noise associated with operations. Certain types of units like the Daikin FIT are especially quiet with extremely low operation noises.

How often should I service my heat pump?

We recommend a minimum of once per year, but two is better if the heat pump is your primary heating and cooling system, rather than just a supplemental system. If you are getting one scheduled maintenance, then it should be in the spring, but if you opt for two then they should be in the spring and fall.

Simply the Best Heating & Cooling offers very affordable HVAC maintenance as well as extremely low-cost monthly maintenance plans. Check out our Comfort Club here.

How does a heat pump defrost cycle work?

When the outside temperatures start to drop closer to freezing, the moisture in the air freezes on the heat exchanger, this can cause a slight build-up of ice. The defrost cycle is meant to get rid of the built-up ice on the exchanger. If it isn’t defrosted, then its efficiency will be compromised and the unit could get damaged.

What does servicing a heat pump entail?

Our Comfort Club plans and all HVAC servicing covers all major parts of the heat pumps. Click here to see a full list of things covered and looked at during servicing.

How often should a heat pump cycle on and off?

When temperatures dip below 40° F, heat pumps are designed to run almost constantly to keep your home comfortable. If it’s fairly cold out and your heat pump is running constantly, then there probably isn’t too much to worry about. However, if you are unsure, please give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

Why is the heat pump blowing cold air?

Heat pumps do not typically blow out air that is as hot as furnaces. Many times it is much closer to the normal body temperature than furnaces, which can make the air coming out feel cool. Usually, this is normal, however, if it is blowing out cold air, and not just cool feeling air, when it’s supposed to be heating, there’s an issue.

If you are having problems with your heat pump in Gilbert, AZ, or the surrounding areas, please give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

What is the lowest temperature a heat pump will work?

The optimal temperature range for an air source heat pump is above 25°-30° F. Energy efficiency begins to be lost once temperatures drop below 40° F and heat pumps are no longer the most efficient heating option once temperatures drop below 30° F.

How to size a heat pump?

The general rule of thumb is that the maximum size unit you should buy would be 25% over the BTUs you need. This is different from traditional furnaces and air conditioners. The best way to get accurate sizing is to have one of our trained HVAC professionals come to your home for a free estimate. They can accurately give you the size unit you need for your home.

Do heat pumps work with radiators?

Heat pumps can be used with radiators, but depending on the situation, may not be suitable. A professional from Simply the Best Heating & Cooling would be the best option to have come to your Gilbert, AZ, or surrounding area home to see what options are available for you.

Why is my heat pump constantly running?

Most heat pumps will run constantly or virtually constantly during the cold winter weather. But, if your heat pump is running constantly in cooling mode during the summer, there might be a problem. Or if you have a newer Daikin FIT heat pump that uses inverter technology, it is designed to run this way. If you are unsure if your heat pump is working properly, give us a call or schedule an appointment online today.

Should You Get A Heat Pump For Your Tempe, AZ Home?

While heat pumps are a fantastic option for homeowners in Arizona, the only way to know for sure is to have an experienced HVAC professional come to your home and assess how moving to a heat pump would change things for you. If you’re interested in a free estimate, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.