What Is A Heat Pump

Heating and cooling services have come a long way since palm fronds and bonfires, but the modern options can be confusing. With so many options available, making the best decision for your home has gotten difficult.

One option that you’ve probably not heard a lot about is the heat pump. What is a heat pump? It is a combination heater/cooler system that moves heat from one location to another.

That’s the super simple definition, read on for more specifics to learn if a heat pump is the right choice for your needs.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump uses a motor and compression to move air like many HVAC systems. Instead of heating or cooling the air before it is moved, the heat pump draws in warmer air and then pushes it.

In the summer, this sucks air from inside the house and pushes it outside. In the winter, the system draws excess heat from the outdoors and pushes that indoors.

Because a heat pump moves air inside to outside, it can be a terrific option for those sensitive to allergies and air quality.

Hot and Cold?

Not all heat pumps work with open environments. A geothermal heat pump draws heat from under the ground and moves this inside.

The temperature underground is more stable than atmospheric temps.

When the temperature outside drops below zero, it’s difficult for a heat pump to find anything to move into the house. Geothermal pumps don’t run into this problem, but for an atmospheric pump, you will occasionally need backup heating.


If you replaced a previously existing HVAC or central heating/air system, the ducts in place don’t need to be modified for a heat pump. That said, the better your insulation and air seals, the more efficiently a heat pump will run.

For a new home, or if you want to be rid of vents, ductless heat pump systems exist.

What is a ductless heat pump? Also known as a mini-split heat pump, these units exchange heat through smaller conduits to the a larger external system. The benefit of a mini-split is the precise temps that can be achieved on a room by room basis rather than average temperatures throughout the floor of a house.

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps offer savings on energy bills by efficiently moving air around and not treating that air.

That said, they are more efficient cooling than heating. They offer up to 10 HSPF when cooling. When heating they number is cut down by about five points.

With a well-insulated home and good seals on windows and doors, heat pumps offer a lot of effect for a low monthly energy cost. They last an average of 15 years and most of the cost is in the installation.

Keep it Moving

That’s the longer answer for “What is a heat pump?” concluded. As for if it’s the right choice for your home, if you live in the Oklahoma City or Edmond area, you likely spend more on your cooling than your heating. That makes a heat pump an ideal choice.

The upfront cost is hefty but also manageable. Contact Above & Beyond Heating & Cooling for information on available units and pricing plans.