A unit which can deliver both heat and air conditioning to a home is called a heat pump. Because heat is created by the processing of refrigerants during air conditioning, heat pumps can easily reverse the cycle in order to deliver heat to a household.
As mentioned above, heat pumps are best for mild climates while optimizing their efficiency. Temperatures below 36 degrees cause heat pumps to run non-stop in order to maintain a comfortable household temperature.
Don’t be surprised if an outdoor heat pump’s coils collect ice. So not to damage the heat pump, the unit purposely melts the ice when needed so the buildup doesn’t harm the pump. This process works like this: By switching the heat pump to air conditioning, the unit builds up enough heat to melt the ice. However, due to the activation of electrically powered heat strips inside of the heat pump the air pushed throughout the household will remain warm.
During temperatures above 36 degrees an electric heat pump can handle a household’s temperature comfort with lower temperatures handled by a gas furnace. The synergy created by this dual-system maximizes household comfort and energy efficiency.