What Is a Heat Pump Exactly?

By: Brian Schutt  |  May 28, 2010

If you’re a homeowner and you’re anything like me, you have no clue what a heat pump is.  You might think something called a heat pump solely pumps heat.  If you think that, you’d be wrong.  Homesense’s Operations Manager, Jesse Cross, explains:

A Heat Pump looks exactly like an outdoor A/C condenser. The difference is that both the heating and cooling take place inside the Heat Pump. This is different than a split system where the cooling takes place in the outside condenser and the heating takes place in the indoor furnace. The most efficient system is a heat pump with a indoor gas furnace, but this is also the most expensive. In Indiana, most homes have a split system (A/C and indoor Gas Furnace).

The issue with some homes is that the electrical power is insufficient.  A Heat Pump is all electric and does not require gas. Many smaller homes electrical panels are only 100AMP and need to be upgraded to 200AMP to safely accomodate a Heat Pump.”

So as you undertake what promises to be a balmy Indiana summer, you may have to make the decision – air conditioning condenser or heat pump?  So hopefully now you won’t be thinking, “why on earth would these people be asking me if I want a heat pump in July?”

Brian Schutt


is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

Have a question? Tweet him and you'll get an answer promptly.

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