Do Heat Pumps Have a Downside?

September 19, 2023
heat pump services in Hayden, ID

These days, heat pumps are one of the most popular HVAC options on the market here in Hayden, ID. They’re reliable, quiet, and highly efficient. However, they’re not perfect. Heat pumps do have some downsides homeowners should know about before having one installed. Here’s what you need to know.

Upfront Costs

One disadvantage of heat pumps is their upfront costs. The average heat pump costs between $2,500 and $10,000 to install. This makes them among the more expensive HVAC systems available. However, the devil’s in the details. A heat pump can both heat and cool your home, so their cost isn’t so bad when you consider they take the place of a furnace and an air conditioner. Plus, their ultra-efficient operation means you’ll recoup most, if not all, of the extra upfront cost over the life of your heat pump.

Difficulty at Low Temperatures

Since heat pumps heat your home by harvesting heat energy from the outside air, it’s only natural that they’d struggle during excessively cold weather. On average, a heat pump will become less efficient than a gas-powered furnace at temperatures of about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. They also may struggle to provide adequate heat for your home during extremely cold weather. The good news is that heat pumps have backup heating units that use electric resistance heaters to generate the extra heat you need. So, you don’t have to worry about freezing, but you might spend more to heat your home on the coldest days of the year.


Another disadvantage of using a heat pump is that it can create a kind of drafty feeling in your home when you’re not accustomed to it. Heat pumps don’t generate air that’s nearly as warm as what you’d get from a gas or electric furnace. Instead, they create warm air and keep running for extended periods to maintain your home’s temperature. For homeowners used to hot air coming from every vent, this can be a disquieting experience. However, it doesn’t mean your home won’t stay warm in the winter, and the increased energy efficiency will save you money.

The Local Heat Pump Authority

The bottom line is that heat pumps, although imperfect, are an excellent heating and cooling option for homes here in Hayden. And Border Sheet Metal & Heating is the local heat pump expert you can trust. We’ve served the community since 1942 providing comprehensive HVAC services, ductwork, indoor air quality, geothermal, and more! When the time comes for a heat pump installation in your Hayden home, call our team at Border Sheet Metal & Heating and we’ll be delighted to help.

company icon