Air-source heat pumps are more popular in milder winter climates where the temperature is frequently in the range of 4–13 °C (40–55 °F), because heat pumps become inefficient in more extreme cold. This is because ice forms on the outdoor unit's heat exchanger coil, which blocks air flow over the coil. To compensate for this, the heat pump system must temporarily switch back into the regular air conditioning mode to switch the outdoor evaporator coil back to being the condenser coil, so that it can heat up and defrost. A heat pump system will therefore have a form of electric resistance heating in the indoor air path that is activated only in this mode in order to compensate for the temporary indoor air cooling, which would otherwise be uncomfortable in the winter.
If a heat exchanger cracks or contains holes, leaks can release carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is nearly impossible for humans to detect on their own due to its characteristics of being colorless and odorless. Because of this, it is referred to as “The Silent Killer”. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. It is extremely important to have a HVAC technician perform a furnace inspection annually to prevent problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning. UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers yearly maintenance packages and service agreements that include yearly maintenance and furnace inspections.