Heat Pump Archives | PECO Heating & Cooling

Can a Heat Pump Save You Money?

Lennox Heat Pump

Have you been thinking about upgrading your heating and cooling system? If so, you should consider having an air source heat pump installed. Heat pumps act as both a heater and air conditioning unit—and they can help you save money without sacrificing your comfort!

How Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work?

Most heating systems rely on burning fuel or converting electricity to generate heat. In contrast, heat pumps don’t generate heat—they move existing heat from the outdoors into your home. This allows them to provide more heat energy than the electrical energy heat pumps need to operate. 

Pecos Heat Pump System Buying Guide 3

This works the same as a traditional air conditioner in cooling mode. Air source heat pumps consist of a compressor and two copper or aluminum coils. One of the coils is installed outdoors and the second one is indoors. In the wintertime, the outdoor coil uses liquid refrigerant to convert the absorbed heat from the air into a gas. The gas refrigerant releases the heat through the indoor coil and then reverts back to a liquid. 

You may be wondering how the heat pump can extract heat from the outside air when it’s cold outside. All outside air contains some heat until the temperatures drop to absolute zero (-459.67° F). 

In warm temperatures, the heat pump works in reverse to provide cooling; it essentially moves heat from the indoor air outside. 

How Can an Air Source Heat Pump Save Me Money?

Save Money with Heat Pump PECO

In the past, air source heat pumps were mainly used in moderate climates, but recent technological developments have made them an excellent option for even colder climates. 

A new 16-17 SEER heat pump can reduce energy consumption by an average of 20-30% with a single stage split system. The high-efficiency variable speed heat pumps also do a better job of dehumidifying than single stage central air conditioning or heat pump systems, so you can enjoy lower cooling costs in the summer and better comfort. 

Like a traditional HVAC, heat pumps should be serviced twice a year. If you can only get LP gas for a furnace system you can save money with a high efficiency heat pump by eliminating the need for LP Gas fuel delivery which is more money per BTU.  Natural gas furnaces are still the most efficient at lower temperatures for the dollars spent.   The best of both worlds is a dual fuel system – heat pump with natural gas furnace.  The heat pump is more efficient in heating down to 50 degrees, then the furnace will take over.

Yet another cost-saving benefit is that heat pumps can protect against inflation and the rising cost of energy. According to a report from January this year:

  • Households with natural gas heating systems can expect to spend 30% more this winter than they did in 2021 which is still lower than using a moderately efficient heat pump system
  • Households that heat their homes using electricity are expected to spend approximately 6% more this year than the previous year.
  • Households that heat their homes using propane or heating oil can expect to spend up to 54% and 43% more this year, respectively and these fuels are already more money per BTU. 

As the most effective electric heating system on the market, heat pumps are a great long-term investment. With a variable speed, variable capacity system you can get a return on your investment.

Ready to Install a Heat Pump? 

Heat Pump PECO 2

It’s clear heat pumps have several advantages over traditional HVAC systems:

  • Heating and cooling capability in a single unit
  • Very efficient – comes in a variety of SEER efficiencies
  • Runs on electricity; lower energy costs

If you’re ready to switch to a heat pump system, PECO Heating & Cooling is here to help! We offer installations, maintenance, and repairs for heat pumps, heat pump split systems and dual fuel heat pump systems with gas furnaces. We’ll evaluate your space and heating needs and make recommendations on the best unit for your home. Although we primarily work with Lennox products, we offer service for all heat pump brands. 

To find out if a heat pump is the right choice for your home, call PECO today at (864) 639-2424 or contact us online.

PECO’s Complete Heat Pump System Buying Guide

Have you been thinking about replacing your heat pump system or swapping a furnace split system for a heat pump system? Heat pumps are a lot like a furnace and air conditioner combined; they have the dual function of heating and cooling your home. They do this by absorbing and moving the ambient heat rather than burning fuel or using electrical resistance. Because of this, heat pumps are very energy-efficient and eco-friendly compared to other climate control systems. 

Pecos Heat Pump System Buying Guide 1

Whether it’s time to replace aging equipment or you’re looking into a different type of heating system, we’ve designed this handy guide to help you find the right heat pump for your home. 

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Air-source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump on the market. They work by absorbing heat from the air and moving it indoors (to heat a home) or outdoors (to cool a home)—just like an air conditioner. In fact, they look similar to air conditioners and use nearly all the same parts. The only difference is that they provide both heating and cooling.  Heat pumps are the most efficient at temperatures down to 50 degrees, then the heat pump uses heat strips in the air handler to overcome the cold air when the heat pump reverses the refrigerant cycle to defrost the outdoor unit.

Pecos Heat Pump System Buying Guide 3

Although they run on electricity, they have a very high-efficiency rating, and many power companies, including Duke Energy, offer rebates and other incentives for homeowners to install them.  

Heat pumps can be used as the sole heating and cooling unit in a home, or they can be combined with an existing furnace system. This is called a dual fuel system and is one of the most efficient systems. The heat pump can be locked out at 50 degrees, and the furnace will provide more consistent heat because there is no defrost cycle at lower temperatures. 

If switching from a furnace system to a heat pump system, the electrical service and wiring in your home are a consideration. The air handler portion of a heat pump system uses heat strips at very cold temperatures; thus, a larger circuit/circuit breaker is necessary for this component.   

The Different Types of Heat Pumps

As mentioned above, air-source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump used in the United States, especially the subset known as “air-to-air” heat pumps. The most common air-to-air heat pumps include:

Ducted Air-Source Heat Pumps
Ducted air-source heat pumps are the same as central AC units. They have an indoor and outdoor unit, as well as aluminum or copper fins and coils, refrigerant lines, and an outdoor compressor that compresses and recirculates the refrigerant. The indoor unit attaches to the ducts in your home and uses a blower to circulate the warm or cool air throughout your home. Although prices vary based on the manufacturer, the median price for these types of heat pumps at 14 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is $7,791. They come in 1.5 tons up to 5 tons for residential homes and are priced based upon difficultly of installation or accessories added to the system.

Variable speed air-sourced heat pumps are the new rivals to the other systems listed below. These variable speed, variable capacity systems have built-in compressor modulation to customize your heating and cooling on the fly. In essence, a 3-ton heat pump system can act like a 1-ton system when the temperatures are mild. These systems also have an added bonus of dehumidification features… to keep the air in your home cool and crisp in the summer months. The SEER ratings for these systems are from 16 to 28 SEER—depending upon the tonnage and pairing with an indoor component.

Ductless (Mini-Split) Air-Source Heat Pumps
Mini-splits heat and cool the air just like a ducted model does, but they don’t require ductwork to move the heated or cooled air through your home—and because they don’t use ducts, which can contribute to energy loss, they’re more energy-efficient than ducted heat pumps. Instead of ducts, the outdoor unit connects to indoor handlers or “heads” that are installed throughout the house. These can be installed high on the walls or inside the floor or ceiling. 

Mini-splits can range anywhere from $3,000 to $14,500, depending on the capacity needed and the number of zones in the home. These are designed for single room use only and rooms with a minimum size of 1500 cubic feet or 10×15 room with 10’ ceiling—¾ tons up to 5 tons. These are not recommended as the main home system as there is no central return duct to circulate the air in your home, thus leading to stale dead air in closed rooms.

Less Common Heat Pumps

In addition to the above heat pumps, here are a few less common types that work well for specific situations.

Ground-source or Geothermal Heat Pumps
These heat pumps work by absorbing and releasing heat underground, where the temperature stays consistently between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Since they aren’t compensating for large temperature fluctuations, they’re highly efficient. However, since they’re underground, they can be impractical for some homes, especially small lots or properties with certain types of landscaping or soil. 

Ground-source systems typically cost between $30,000 to $80,000, but the energy savings they offer, as well as government incentives, can potentially offset the cost within 10 years. Added complications are water pumps used to circulate water, digging trenches or deep holes for the in-ground water loop, and specialty contractors to work on them.

Water-source Heat Pumps 
Water-source heat pumps work the same as a ground-source system, but they’re installed at the bottom of a pond. These can be a great option if you have an appropriately sized pond on your property, as they’re easier and a little less expensive to install than ground-source.

Why Should You Consider Buying a Heat Pump?

  • You’re happy having a heat pump, but it’s time to replace your existing system. If your current unit is 10-15 years old, a newer system will be more efficient. 
  • You need to replace your central AC unit or would like to add a new unit. Since heat pumps work the same as an air conditioner on cooling mode (but with the ability to heat your home), too, you may want to consider installing a heat pump and using your existing furnace system as a backup for the coldest days of the year. This will allow you to enjoy your heat pump’s energy-saving benefits on milder days. 
  • You’d like to heat rooms that the main system doesn’t reach. Mini-split heat pumps are an ideal way to heat areas of your home that aren’t set up with ductwork, like attics, bonus rooms, garages, or home additions. 
  • You currently heat your home with delivered fuels, electric-resistance furnaces, or electric baseboard heaters. All of these systems are expensive ways to heat your home; even with the cost of installation, a heat pump will likely save you money over time. 
  • You can take advantage of heat pump subsidies and incentives. Although heat pumps tend to cost more than other heating appliances, state and utility-based subsidies can lower the costs significantly—sometimes to the point where they actually cost less. 
Pecos Heat Pump System Buying Guide 2

When Are Heat Pumps an Impractical Choice?

Although heat pumps are an ideal solution for many homes, there are some scenarios where they might be too expensive, difficult, or even impossible to install. For example:

  • Your home has no ductwork. Ducts can be challenging and expensive to install in homes that don’t already have them. However, new duct systems with the proper design (like the way PECO installs them) will provide excellent airflow to every room and last for years to come.  
  • Your home is poorly insulated or has air leaks. Since heat pumps are essentially always working to keep your home heated, good insulation is extremely beneficial. If your insulation is poor or you have leaks throughout your home, you’ll likely notice drafts and cold spots with a heat pump than you would with a traditional heating system. If you’d still like a heat pump, it’s recommended to have your insulation upgraded and the leaks sealed.  
  • Your electrical service is underpowered. If you have an older home, it may only have a 100-amp (or even 60-amp) service. Even though you can technically run a smaller-capacity mini-split on low amperage, bigger heat pumps could cause you to trip the breaker. Getting the right heat pump for your heating needs might require upgrading your electrical system to the modern standard of 200 amps. PECO can perform this work as well. 

How to Select a Heat Pump

If you’ve decided to get a heat pump, here are some important factors to help you select the right one for your home.

  • Size/Capacity

A unit that’s too small will struggle to keep your home comfortable while an overly large system will cost more and (depending on the model) may cycle on and off more than it should. Your best bet is to install a heat pump that’s properly sized for your home. Our technicians will perform a load calculation to ensure you have the right size. If you’re planning to use a backup heating system, we can also help you figure out whether an undersized heat pump might be a good option.

  • Compressor Type

The heat pump compressor is the part that’s responsible for actually pumping the heat. A basic heat pump will have a single-speed compressor that is either on or off; this can make the temperature and humidity in your home fluctuate. Some compressors have two speeds; although this helps with the fluctuations, they’ll still be present. 

A variable-speed compressor, however, is designed to run continuously and adjust to deliver only as much heating and cooling as you need. They’re also better at keeping the relative humidity consistent. Another benefit of variable-speed compressors is that they’re also more energy-efficient than single or dual-speed compressors. 

  • Efficiency

Some heat pumps use less energy than others while delivering the same level of comfort. Heating and cooling efficiency is measured by heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) and seasonal energy-efficiency rating (SEER). Although the costs may be higher, higher HSPF or SEER-rated units will typically pay for themselves over time, and may even be eligible for better incentives or rebates than less efficient models. The most efficient heat pumps have a SEER rating of up to 28 or an HSPF of 11.2, depending on the tonnage and indoor component combination.

  • Noise

You can find noise ratings for heat pumps listed on the manufacturer’s website; they’ll typically include different decibel ratings based on outdoor temperatures and fan speeds. A lower rating is better, especially if your heat pump is installed near a bedroom window. The variable speed systems are extremely quiet, and on low speed, you wouldn’t hear it running.

A Note on Heat Pump Maintenance

Like furnaces and air conditioning units, heat pumps should receive regular maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Once a year, you should have a technician perform the following:

  • Clean and flush the coils
  • Clear the condensate drainage system
  • Vacuum the blower compartments
  • Check that the system is properly charged with refrigerant and that there are no leaks
  • Check that all mechanical components are working properly

You can also perform some basic maintenance yourself, like cleaning the grilles, replacing the filters, and keeping weeds and other debris cleared out from around the base. Check the manufacturer’s directions for how often you need to change the filter; depending on the type, it could be anywhere between every 3 to 12 months. 

For no-hassle maintenance, consider signing up for our planned maintenance agreement!

Contact PECO to Find the Right Heat Pump for Your Needs

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when purchasing a heat pump! As with most heating and cooling systems, your best bet is to work with a professional. The margin of error for heat pumps is smaller than other heating systems, so it’s essential to install the right size for your home. If you’ve decided to switch to a heat pump—or replace an existing unit—the skilled technicians at PECO are ready to help! From helping you choose the right system to expert installation, maintenance, and repairs, we specialize in helping you maximize the comfort of your home. Contact us today at (864) 639-2424 or schedule an appointment online

Heat Pumps Vs. Air Conditioning: What’s the Difference?

If it’s time to replace the cooling system in your home, you may be trying to decide between an air conditioner and a heat pump. While both can provide cooling for your home, they have different benefits, so it’s important to choose a system that fits your needs.

Heat Pumps | Air Conditioning

In warm weather, a heat pump and an AC unit work essentially the same; they both cool indoor air. During the winter when you need to heat your home, an AC unit can’t help; this is why homes with AC typically also have a furnace or electric heat. A heat pump can provide heat as well as cooling. Here’s a deeper look at the advantages and limitations of each type of unit.

Types of Heat Pumps and AC systems.

Heat pumps are devices that transfer the heat inside a home and the air outside. In warmer climates, heat pumps extract the heat from indoor air and transfer it outside; during cold temperatures, it reverses the process.  

There are two main types of heat pumps: air sourced and geothermal. An air-source heat pump uses heat from the outside air, while geothermal ones extract the heat from the ground. There are two different designs for heat pumps/AC systems as well: split type and packaged units.

A split type heat pump has a separate indoor and outdoor unit.

Packaged heat pumps contain all the system’s components housed in a single unit. Heat pumps can be connected to an air handler with heat strips or a gas or propane furnace (known as a dual fuel system) that supplements heating during extremely cold temperatures. Heat strips are only utilized during the defrost cycle of the heat pump or when temperatures hit below 30 degrees when the heat pump has difficulty extracting heat from the air.

A mini-split system can be cooling only or heat pump… The indoor unit is mounted on the wall or as an air handler connected to a small duct system.

A window unit can be either cooling only or a heat pump and combines all components into a single box-like unit that can be fit onto a window. These are typically best for a single room.

Portable air conditioning units are similar to window units, but they can be moved easily throughout the home. Most are cooling only.

Heat Pumps Benefits

  • Generally more cost-effective and energy-efficient than other types of heating
  • Safer than gas furnaces and relatively environmentally friendly
  • Provides both cooling and heating, which eliminates the need for separate systems
  • Reliable with a long lifespan averaging 10 – 15 years
  • Purchasing an energy-efficient model may qualify for tax rebates
  • Requires less maintenance than traditional heating and cooling systems like stoves or fireplaces.


The cost of a heat pump with installation can vary greatly, as it’s dependent on factors like unit type, size, energy efficiency ratings, installation location, and the amount of ductwork needed. Averagely, it can cost anywhere from $4,100 to up to $20,000 for geothermal unit installation.

Air Conditioners

Like heat pumps, air conditioners transfer heat from indoors to the outside, but they’re only able to provide cooling. Air conditioners consist of both outdoor and indoor units. The outdoor unit consists of a condenser, compressor, and fan. This connects to an indoor unit with a blower and evaporator coil. Air conditioners are connected to either an air handler with heat strips or a gas or propane furnace. Refrigerant circulates through the condenser and evaporator, which allows the air conditioner to absorb heat from the indoor air. The cold air that results from this process is then pumped through the ducts using the fan.

Air Conditioner Benefits

Air Conditioning
  • Offers an optimal indoor climate even during the hottest temperatures
  • Can encourage better sleep due to steady, comfortable room temperatures
  • Can help improve air quality by reducing allergens and pollutants
  • Can reduce dehydration
  • Long lifespan averaging 10 – 15 years

AC Costs

Like heat pumps, air conditioner costs can vary significantly depending on the type, energy efficiency rating, installation location, and unit size. The unit itself can be anywhere from $150 to $10,000. Another factor that can affect the installation costs is the amount of ductwork needed to set up the system. While purchasing a more energy-efficient model can be more expensive initially, it can save you money on energy costs over time.Since both air conditioners and heat pumps last for over a decade, it’s important to consider which system is best for your cooling needs. If you’re unsure which system to choose, we’re always happy to offer recommendations and find the best solution for your needs. We also provide complete installation, repairs, and maintenance for your HVAC systems. Give us a call today at 864-639-2424 to learn more or schedule an appointment

Frozen Heat Pump? Call PECO!

It’s normal for your heat pump to develop some frost or ice on its outdoor coils. It’s not normal for it to look like a snowman!

What’s going on? Why are you seeing Frosty instead of your heat pump?

Insufficient Airflow


A heat pump’s refrigerant temperature can fall below freezing. Without sufficient airflow through the unit, moisture in the air freezes on the evaporator or condenser coils. One measure you can safely take to ensure good airflow is to clear away any leaves, debris or snow drifts that may be blocking the coils. If this doesn’t help, give us a call ASAP so we make repairs before any damage occurs.

Cold Water

Freezing rain or water dripping from a leaking gutter can cause the top of the unit to freeze. The rest of the unit quickly follows. We suggest you check your gutters to stop any leaking. If this isn’t the cause and your heat pump doesn’t defrost itself after a day or if it defrosts then freezes again, call us for proper ice removal.


Most heat pumps rest on a concrete slab. This slab sometimes settles into the ground over time. Just a small amount of settling can block the drainage path for ice melt, impede airflow, and cause ice buildup. Call us about raising the unit.

As you can see, in almost all cases, it’s best to give us a call. We’ve seen a lot of damage when people try to handle a frozen heat pump themselves. When they try to chip the ice off, they sometimes hit the refrigerant line and all the refrigerant leaks out. Another misguided home remedy is to pour boiling water on the unit. The trouble is that the hot water often ruins perfectly good electrical components.

Don’t turn Frosty into the Abominable Snowman to come to life. Contact PECO when you need reliable, trustworthy HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair in Oconee, Pickens, and North Anderson counties. We’re a family-owned business and take great pride in offering high-quality home repair with even higher quality attention to our customer’s needs. As well as being licensed plumbing contractors, we also install, maintain and fix heating and cooling systems. We can fix or build anything that moves gas or water through your house. We even do minor drywall repair and painting when needed. For an HVAC company that maintains the utmost standards and integrity, call us at 864-639-2424 or request an appointment online today!

Why Should I Choose a Heat Pump Service Near Me?

Your heat pump is the portion of your heating system that transfers heat from one area of the system to another, either to remove heat from an area that should be cool or to move heat into an area that should be warm. It’s a vital component in a number of different systems, from central heating and air conditioning to refrigerators. You can likely understand why it’s a good idea to make sure it’s operating optimally at all times – it’s essential to keep your system working as intended. Heat Pump Service

This is also why it’s in your best interests to hire a heat pump service near you to keep you in fine working order. There are a lot of benefits to working with a local business, not least of which being that they’re nearby and easily accessible. Here are some of our top reasons for going with a heat pump service near me:

– Easy to reach and schedule

– You can visit their facility and meet with your technician

– Available locally for emergencies

– Willing to work with you on pricing and financing

– Frequently independently owned

– Willing to work hard to get and keep your business

– Friendly and familiar with local locations and people

– Have likely worked with other people you know who you can ask for details

Independently run contracting and repair firms are an excellent place to start looking when you need heat pump service. You’ll always want to look for someone who’s licensed and insured, which means they’ve undergone the necessary steps to do the work right, which includes training and showing that they’re capable of the work they advertise. For heat pump work, you’ll want to go with someone who has experience working in systems that require heat pumps and heat sinks so you know they’re familiar with the systems. A contractor that works on heating, cooling, refrigeration, or similar systems is a good choice. Insurance such as Workman’s Comp and Liability is just as important because the contractor will be working on your equipment on your property.

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we’re a well-rounded independent home contracting business with employees skilled in a variety of areas. We can handle plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling, home repair, renovation, and much more. We can be your top stop for all things home care, including heat pump service. Drop us a line the next time you need a hand!

Top Heat Pump, Air Conditioning & Furnace Repair Problems

You know you need air conditioning repair or furnace repair, but you’d like to do some research to figure out what’s going on before you call a HVAC repair technician. You’ve come to the right place! We’ll go over some of the most common HVAC repairs in this post.

Before we get started, the most important thing you can do to help figure out what’s going on with your system is diagnose the problem. If you’re not a trained HVAC technician, you probably won’t be able to get into the nitty-gritty details, but you should be able to make some general observations. Do you notice strange noises from your outdoor or indoor unit? Less air flow from your vents? Decreased efficiency in how quickly your home cools or heats? Increased energy bills? All of these signs point to specific problems, so keep them in mind.

Top Heat Pump, Air Conditioning & Furnace Repair Problems

Here are some of the most common heat pump, air conditioning and furnace repairs we see:

Too Long Since Last Maintenance

This is a big one! Often, we’ll come to check out an AC or heating system and find that it’s in disrepair because no one’s been out to look at it in a while. Another sign that maintenance is lacking is a dirty air filter or dust/dirt buildup in the machine components, which decreases the effectiveness of the system and can even cause parts to fail.

Clogged or Ineffective Drains

Your draining system for your heating and cooling is very important, particularly in your air conditioner. AC creates condensation, which should be drained outside your home. Humid days can also cause excessive condensation. If your drain is clogged and not draining properly, it can definitely affect your system’s ability to cool the home.  Condensate can back up into the indoor unit and damage electrical components or your duct system.

Trouble with Power Source or Gas Line

Both your furnace and your air conditioner need power to work, whether they operate on electricity or gas. If something becomes disconnected or a line doesn’t appear to be delivering power or gas, it’s time to call a licensed repair expert.

Broken or Malfunctioning Parts

Even the best systems on the market are going to deal with breakdowns at one point or another. Over time, your system’s parts will wear down. That’s just the nature of the beast. Thankfully they’re pretty easy to replace most of the time, and if a technician catches them early enough, they can be replaced without any downtime at all. Parts can include fans, belts, hoses, motors, and more.

Pilot Light Won’t Light

Many homeowners have their own tricks for taking care of an occasional snuffed pilot light themselves, but if it’s a chronic issue with your furnace, that means there’s an electrical malfunction. It’s an easy enough fix, but it should definitely be handled by an expert.

There are many, many other potential problems that can require air conditioner and furnace repair, but these are the big ones. No matter what’s going on with your system, our technicians can get the job done!