For climates with moderate heating and cooling needs such as those found in Western Washington state, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners.
Similar to your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space into a warm, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer.
During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house; during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors.
Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide up to four times the amount of energy they consume.
The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between your house and the outside air. If you heat with electricity, a heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 30% – 40%.
High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months.