Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Heat Pumps

As energy costs continue to soar, and more and more homeowners look for more and more efficient ways in which to heat their homes, the heat pump has really grown in popularity. A question that many homeowners have regarding heat pumps, though, is simply whether or not these systems are really effective enough to bother investing in. While it is true that older heat pumps may have struggled in very cold weather, modern systems are more reliable than ever before. Consider the following information before deciding if you’d like to use a heat pump in Fort Collins, COIf so, just give Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning a call to schedule service.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

A heat pump is able to function as both a heater and an air conditioner due to its ability to reverse its refrigerant cycle. During the summer, it acts just like an AC, drawing heat out of the air in your home and venting that air outside. In the winter, the refrigerant in the system absorbs heat from the air outdoors, even when it is very cold out. That refrigerant is then compressed, boosting the thermal energy, and this energy is used to heat air for distribution throughout your house.

While this operation results in great energy efficiency, as only a small amount of electricity is used in the heating of one’s home, heat pumps have been known to struggle in extremely cold temperatures. However, we do advise that you consider the use of such systems, and for two reasons. First of all, we simply don’t live in an area where we are dealing with subzero temperatures regularly. Secondly, modern heat pumps are no more reliable than ever before, able to produce dependable heating even when the temperature really plummets.

Are There Any Other Options?

While today’s heat pumps are a good match for our winter weather, we understand that many homeowners are always going to want a bit of extra security. That is why we also offer hybrid heating systems. Such systems feature both a furnace and a heat pump, with the furnace firing up only in the event that the heat pump is struggling to produce sufficient heating for your home. Contact us with any questions that you may have.


As you can imagine, there is really no single air conditioning system which will perfectly suit every home, nor will every homeowner be looking for the same things when considering their air conditioning options. If you are looking for a new air conditioner in the Fort Collins, CO area, though, we’d like to make a friendly suggestion: consider the installation of a heat pump on your property. They offer a few benefits that other residential cooling systems cannot match. This is due largely to their unique design and method of operation. Read the information below, and call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your heat pump services.  

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps share much in common with more traditional split central air conditioning systems. They use an outdoor unit, which contains the compressor, and distribute cooled air throughout the house via a system of air ducts. During the summer, as you use your heat pump to cool your household, there is actually very little difference between its operation and a central AC. Refrigerant absorbs heat from the air in the house, and vents it outside. However, during the winter season, the heat pump really sets itself apart.

You see, a component called a reversing valve actually allows a heat pump to reverse its operation. The refrigerant cycle is reversed, and the refrigerant now absorbs heat from the air outside. This warmed refrigerant is further compressed, and that heat is used to heat air for distribution throughout the household.

Benefits of Using a Heat Pump

From the description above, you may think that  a heat pump’s greatest benefit is the fact that it is able to offer year round comfort. This is certainly a major benefit, but it is not the only one. Because no fossil fuels are used in order to heat the house, and only a small amount of electricity is needed to facilitate the heat transfer process, a heat pump allows homeowners to heat their homes effectively with incredible energy efficiency. Give us a call today if you think that a heat pump is the right cooling – and, of course, heating – option for your home.


The period between winter and summer is a transitional one when we can stop to consider our general needs for heating and cooling our homes. We aren’t shivering in a deep Colorado cold, and we haven’t arrived at any heat waves yet. Spring is the time to consider new installation for your home comfort… and if you want to combat both the cold and heat, then you should make a heat pump one of your top choices. Heat pumps in Loveland, CO make sense for a number of reasons. These systems have many benefits, and we’ll share a few of them with you.

To find out further details on Heat Pump installation contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re a family-owned and operated company that has helped keep Northern Colorado cozy and cool since 1934.

What heat pumps can do for you

  • Heating and cooling in one system: Heat pumps work as both air conditioners and heaters, but they are not two separate systems packaged together; they are actually single systems that use the same action (refrigerant moving heat from one spot to another) to work in two different modes. Because of this dual function, a heat pump will save you space and installation costs, as well as make repairs simpler for technicians.
  • Savings on heating: The air conditioning on a heat pump consumes the same amount of energy as a standard air conditioner of the same size and power. The heater, on the other hand, consumes far less energy than heating systems such as furnaces and boilers (both gas-powered and electrical models). The reason for this is that heat pumps do not burn fuel to generate heat, they instead use electrical power to move heat. Studies have shown that homeowners can reduce annual heating bills by up to 30% with the switch to a heat pump.
  • Safe operation: For people concerned about the safety of using gas-powered heating systems, a heat pump offers a very safe alternative that does not use any heating fuel with toxic, combustible emissions.

Hybrid heat pumps

Because of the severity of Colorado winters, some heat pumps will need assistance on the coldest days. In this case, you can have a hybrid heater installed: a heat pump with a back-up heating system that uses a different fuel source, usually a gas furnace. This will only cost a bit more than a standard heat pump to operate because the back-up system will come on as needed whenever the temperature drops low enough to make the heat pump struggle.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today for an appointment to discuss heat pumps in Loveland, CO and how they can work for your home.


In Colorado towns like Wellington, heat pumps and hybrid systems (which use a heat pump and a smaller gas or electric furnace) make an attractive alternative to more traditional heating systems. Heat pumps combine the functions of a heater and an air conditioner into one. Because they’re based on the same technology as air conditioners, heat pumps can experience the same kinds of problems. For example, you might be asking yourself “why is my heat pump leaking water?

The answers are similar to the ones you find with an air conditioner and can include:

  • Ice on the coils. When refrigerant levels are lower than they should be in the system, it can create ice on the evaporator coils. This is problematic because it restricts the cooling process, which impacts the heat pump’s ability to function. (In a heat pump, the outside coils serve as evaporators in the winter and the inside coils do the same job in the summer.) When the ice melts, it can create puddles of water that might leak.
  • Overflow pan or drain problems. Most heat pumps have a condensate pan to collect condensation in the unit and remove it via a drain line. If the drain line gets clogged or the condensate pan is set improperly, the water will run over and cause a leak. This is especially true if the coils get dirty, since the dirt will mix with the condensate and exacerbate any clogs.

Regardless of the cause, if the heat pump is leaking water it needs to be turned off immediately and a repairman called in to fix the issue. In the event of ice formation, he or she can seal the leak and recharge the refrigerant levels. If the problem is in the drain pan, he or she can clear the clogs and/or rest the pan so that it can drain at an appreciable rate. Here in Wellington, heat pumps can be serviced by the experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We can determine why your heat pump is leaking water, then perform repair operations with speed and efficiency. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!


Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog