Q:

What should you look for in consumer reviews when shopping for heat pumps?

A:

Quick Answer

When reading consumer reviews for heat pumps, it is important to note where the reviewers are located. Heat pumps operate more efficiently in temperate areas, so finding reviews from people in similar climates can help determine how well a unit runs.

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Full Answer

Heat pumps are more expensive to install but can lower heating bills significantly. As the temperature drops, however, they have to use significantly more energy. In areas where temperatures regularly drop below freezing, heat pumps may not be able to keep up. Finding reviews from people living in similar climates can help determine how the system functions under real-life conditions.

Another sign to look for is whether the heat pump resorts to emergency heating mode. If the system is unable to keep up, it may activate electrical resistance coils, which function much like older electrical heating systems. Users reporting especially high electricity charges may be relying on emergency heating mode without knowing it, leading to confusion.

Heat pumps can generally be set to cooling mode, where they operate like air conditioners. Consumers who have only used their heat pump through winter may not know how well the unit operates during warmer months, so finding reviews from consumers who have used their system throughout the year can help people estimate how much the unit costs throughout the seasons.

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