When homeowners on the South Shore purchase a heat pump from us, they often ask “Aren’t I going to erode my savings in the summertime, by using my heat pump for air conditioning?”.
While it is true that it will cost you a few bucks to run your heat pump in AC mode, it will NOT cost you as much as you’ll save in the winter months.
If you’ve read any of our other articles about how much you could save with a heat pump or how cold a temperature heat pumps are effective too, then you understand that the colder it gets outside, the harder a heat pump has to work to keep your home warm.
At lower outdoor temperatures a heat pump must work harder to extract the same amount of heat to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature for you.
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The same holds true in the summertime, if it gets extremely hot inside your home, then the heat pump will need to work harder to cool the space.The big difference here is what we’re willing to accept as comfortable in the summer vs the winter. Also, how often and the duration we run our heat pumps for in the summer vs the winter.
Indoor and Outdoor Temperature Swings
In the winter, if it’s -8°C outside, and the inside of our home, with no heating source, begins to drop down to 15° C and lower we aren’t willing to accept that indoor temperature for very long.
We set our heat pumps for 18°C to 20°C and let them run until it becomes comfortable. The temperature differential there is -8°C outside to 20°C inside so it’s 28°C.
The larger the temperature, everything else equal, it costs more to heat than it does to cool in the summer.
In the summertime, even when it’s 30°C with humidex outside, we don’t need to get down to 18° inside with zero humidity. In most cases, we’re happy if we get it down just a couple of degrees and get rid of most of the humidity.
In this case, the temperature differential is only 8° C to 10°C. So the heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard to make such a big change.
How Long We Run Our Heat Pump For
Also, in the summer we tend not to run our heat pumps as often. Many homeowners will only have their heat pump on for a few hours in the evening and then shut it off at night.
The opposite is true when we use our heat pump for heating. We’re more likely to run the heat pump overnight and all day to maintain a warm temperature, again because we are less likely to tolerate the big swing in temperature that would occur during the winter.
Because we tend to run our heat pumps for less time in the summer, we’re spending less money on electricity for air conditioning than we are for heating.
The amount you’ll spend on air conditioning will vary by how often you run your machine and the average daily temperatures and humidity we experience. On the average, you won’t see air conditioning eat up much for than 20-25% of any savings you’ll experience during the heating season.
Also, don’t forget, AC is a luxury, one that not all homeowners take advantage of. You always have the option to leave your heat pump off during the warmer months and only turn it on when the cold weather hits.
Want to know what a heat pump will cost for your South Shore NS Home? Schedule an estimate appointment with one of our HVAC pros at South Shore HVAC today.