It’s pretty common knowledge now that a heat pump is less expensive to heat your home than electric heat, but what other pros and cons exist when we compare a heat pump vs electric heat?
That’s the purpose of today’s post. We’ll compare heat pumps versus electric heat on several
|Electric Heat||Heat Pump|
|Quick to heat up space||Slower to Get to Temp|
|Zoned||Not Whole Home Coverage with one Machine|
|Rather expensive (1:1)||Low cost of operation (3:1)|
|Heat Doesn’t Spread Well||Heat and cooling spreads throughout space|
|Offers AC and Dehumidification|
Speed to Heat Up Your Space
Ductless heat pumps just don’t heat a space as quick as electric heat or oil. Why? Because the intensity of temperature of the heat produced isn’t as intense. However, in saying that the way that a heat pump heats and maintains your space is more comfortable.
If comparing just the speed at which a room gets to temperature than electric baseboards will do that faster.
A downside to electric baseboards is that once the room is to temperature the thermostat will shut the baseboards off. The room will begin to cool and you’ll start to get cold spots, especially in the depth of winter.
Where a heat pump moves air around using the fan inside the unit you get a more uniform even temperature and coverage.
Heating and Cooling Coverage in the Home
If you have electric heat, then chances are you have it in every room of your house. So your entire home is zoned (different thermostats for different areas).
Ductless heat pumps, in contrast, are installed in the specific areas of the home you want to offset your electric heating.
Ductless heat pumps are best installed in the larger open areas of your home where you spend the most time.
It is easily possible for a single ductless heat pump to cover the entire top floor of your home if it is an open concept and offset 6-8 or more electric baseboards.
Cost to Operate
The easiest way to explain this without getting into complicated math and dollars and cents is to explain how much electricity it takes to run one electric baseboard and compare that to a ductless heat pump.
No matter what the size of a baseboard they all operate at a 1:1 level of efficiency. Meaning you put one unit of electricity in and you get one unit out. The unit size of electricity in question will vary. So a 1000W baseboard will require 1000 watts of electricity.
In contrast, most ductless heat pumps operate at a 3:1 level of efficiency at an optimal outdoor temperature (-8° to -10° for most quality units).
A single 12,000 BTU heat pump can usually run for the same cost as a single 1000 watt baseboard but replace up to 4-6 baseboards in an area of your home.
This is where the big savings come from with using a heat pump.
Ductless heat pumps create more comfort. They maintain the constant temperature when sized properly far better than electric heat and the fan inside a heat pump spreads and pushes the heat further than electric baseboards can.
There’s the added benefit that heat pumps also produce dehumidification and air conditioning during the summer months. Making your living space more comfortable during our hot and humid July and August summer months.
While electric baseboards do have some pros over a heat pump, such as the speed to temperature and whole-home coverage they offer. This comes with a price of as much as three times more expensive than a heat pump.
Of course, you do not get dehumidification or cooling benefit from electric heat either.