Heat pumps working harder in frigid temperatures

By  | 

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - With temperatures in the teens most of Friday, heat pumps in the area had to resort to its auxiliary function.

When temperatures dip below 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat pump does not create enough heat on its own. The secondary source is auxiliary heat.

"When the weather outside is warm enough and you can take the heat from out there and bring it inside, it's relatively cost effective," Dwane Gump, owner of Shinnston Plumbing, explained. "But when you have to kick in the auxiliary heat, that's when the cost comes in."

Gump says for customers with heat pumps, costs would double under those situations.

Those implications on his electric bill don't worry Geary Rollins, a Clarksburg resident who says he employs cost-saving strategies despite owning a heat pump.

"There are just things you have to learn to do with any kind of heat source," Rollins said.

Gump does hear some complaints from owners of heat pumps.

"It will only be 80 or 90 degrees coming out of the register, whereas a conventional gas furnace, that number would be 110 to 130," he said, citing the concerns.

But heat pumps don't comprise much of his business. You're more likely to see them further south.

"In Florida, I have a couple of friends who a dealers down there who don't even put auxiliary heat in," Gump said. "They just put a heat pump and there's no need for the auxiliary. It never gets below 25."

In the video above, you can see more of 5 News' Mike Valente's conversation with Rollins about how he keeps his electric bill low.