Why Heat Pumps Work in Moderate Climates
Seattle is generally quite temperate, with few days that are unbearably hot and few that are freezing cold. This means that Seattle residents have quite moderate heating and cooling needs, which is perfect for heat pumps.
These energy-efficient alternatives to furnaces and air conditioners move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Because heat pumps move heat rather than generate heat, they can provide equivalent space conditioning for about one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.
Here are a few reasons why heat pumps are ideal for moderate climates.
Ideal Efficiency Range
One of the most appealing aspects of a heat pump is that it can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating and cooling by as much as 40 percent. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage during the summer months when energy prices are highest. However, the efficiency of most heat pumps as a heat source drops dramatically at low temperatures. According to the Weather Channel, the daily low temperature in Seattle is in the high 30s, which means heat pumps in Seattle can operate at maximum efficiency during the heating season.
Great for Ductless Heating and Cooling
Because of the moderate climate in the Pacific Northwest, many homes do not contain traditional heating and air conditioning ducts. Instead of relying on space heaters and swamp coolers, you can install a ductless heat pump (also called a mini-split heat pump) to keep your home at a comfortable temperature in the summer and winter. There is also a special type of ductless air-source heat pump called a “reverse cycle chiller” that generates hot and cold water rather than air, allowing it to be used with radiant floor heating systems in heating mode.