Electric Heat Pump Furnace Basics Explained

An electric heat pump furnace serves the purpose of shooting the air out of the furnace area, and into the room. Electrical pumps are not very fuel efficient, and were most popular in the 70s, before electricity became a serious problem for many. The electric furnace is staging a comeback, however, in the age of fuel efficiency, as many HVAC units have an electric heat pump furnace elements which feature a coil with refrigeration fluid in, just before the heating element. Before you start investing in a electric heat pump you should understand a few fundamentals of the department, and how this can effect the way in which the heat pump functions.


The first important difference between the different types of heat pumps for furnaces is the placement and alignment of the components. Some makers of the pump will put the heating elements with an area similar to that of an A/C unit, with parts for the compressor, while others will use a sequencing device called a thermal relay. Still others have their own design of pump contents, which have other relays on. The type of components you have will affect the wiring colors and positions between each brand. The differences in these parts extends to the amount of amps which your fuses will contain. This is vital if you have a furnace which can reach very high temperatures, as this may cause low amp fuses to burn out.

Auxiliary Heat

When the furnace is used with a heat pump, they are often combined with a heating element, this is known as auxiliary heat. The purpose of this kind of heat is to prevent a low heat output. Low output by the pump can be caused by low outside temps, which serves to prevent the right heat from reaching the furnace. The element serves to counterbalance this cold effect by warming the air to the right degree. The heating element may not be included with all kinds of heat pumps, but once you have the right device, you should be able to manage your heat supplies easily.

Some problems with Heat Pumps

While the heat pump has many advantages, it can also have problems which can cause it to not work properly. The first and most important point is that they are affected by cold temperatures. The external pump cannot work once the temperature is below -15 degrees centigrade, for air source heat pumps, although a ground heat source may also be affected by ground frost. It you buy a heat pump from new, then you may also experience some large costs around installation and maintenance. This cost is usually offset by savings, but it is a large initial lay out which is not often covered by government support. Heat pumps are also impractical for large households, as they can only send a certain percentage of heat to the home. Therefore constant use may damage the pump.