"A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can both heat and cool a house. A simple explanation of how this works is that a heat pump can extract heat found in the air outside your home and transfer that heat into your house instead. (A "ground source" or geothermal heat pump is even more efficient, and can transfer heat from a loop installed underground). Under the right conditions it can do this substantially more cheaply than a gas or oil furnace. For more information on how a heat pump accomplishes this bit of wizardry, please see our article on how heat pumps work.
A heat pump is not necessarily the best choice for every home. Before buying a heat pump, consider the following questions:
- Is a heat pump the best choice for your home -- or would you be better off buying a furnace and a central air conditioner?
- What size heat pump should you buy?
- What is heat pump efficiency, and how efficient should your heat pump be?
- Which brand of heat pump is best?
- Which heat pumps do heating contractors recommend?
- Who should install your heat pump?"
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