What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work In?

A heat pump is one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat and cool your the U.S. residence. That’s because they transfer warm or cold air, rather than making it. But not all families have been able to use this energy-saving technology. 

In the past, heat pumps were only recommended for moderate climates, since they weren’t as effective when temperatures were near or below freezing. When the heat pump couldn’t provide the desired temperature, the heating system would then trigger more costly electric heat as a backup heat source to keep the home comfy. 

With updated technology, heat pump systems are now great for chillier regions. Most can work properly at much colder temperatures, although some could still need an auxiliary heating system if temperatures get too cold. But it’s important to be aware that today’s auxiliary heating solutions can also be more energy-efficient than previously. 

We’ll review the differing kinds of heat pumps so you can select the ideal one for your house. 

Air Source Heat Pumps: Right for Moderate Climates 

Air source heat pumps are the most installed type of heat pump. They have an outdoor unit and an indoor air handler. These systems shift heat from either the indoor air during the warm weather, or outside air during colder weather, keeping you cozy throughout the seasons. 

With updates in heat pump technology, these systems can now be added in a large range of climates. But keep in mind that you will likely have to have a secondary source of heat if temperatures go under 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This may entail a dual-fuel system with a gas furnace. Heating alternates between the two to give the most energy-efficient heating comfort across your home. 

Due to the need for dual-fuel systems in colder climates, air source heat pumps are recommended locales without large temperature swings and more moderate heating needs. 

Mini-Split Heat Pumps: Ideal for Areas Without Ductwork in Chillier Climates 

Mini-split heat pumps are one of the most versatile kinds of heat pumps since they don’t need ductwork. This means you can add them just about anywhere in your house, such as a garage or addition. They’re also extremely energy efficient, with the majority receiving ENERGY STAR® recognition. 

Mini-splits work with an outdoor unit that connects to as many as four quiet, small indoor units attached to your wall or ceiling. This allows you to have zoned heating and cooling, with precise temperature control in each area. 

Outdoor air on even the coldest days has some heat that your ductless heat pump can use and transfer indoors. Depending on the kind you choose, some cold-weather mini-split heat pumps from Mitsubishi can operate in temperatures as low as -13°F. 

Geothermal Heat Pumps: Best for Harsh Temperatures and Spacious Yards 

Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of balanced subterranean temperatures to tremendously lower your heating and cooling costs, usually by 25%–50%! These systems use underground pipes to transfer heat to and from your home. 

Geothermal is quiet and can run for years—approximately 25 years for the indoor unit and around 50 years for the loop. 

It doesn’t have to have a lot of maintenance and is best if you are in a climate with big temperature swings. A lot of the time, geothermal does not have to have an auxiliary heating system. 

However, you’ll have to have a lot of space and the ideal type of soil to install the underground loops. You should also know that installation costs around $20,000–$25,000 for a 2,500-square foot house. Although the installation cost is high, ongoing energy savings may help the unit pay for itself over the years. 

Because geothermal saves a lot of energy, installing it may qualify you for federal tax credits and other rebates from your local energy provider. 

Your Satisfaction is Guaranteed with Our Heat Pump Installation 

There’s a reason why we refer to our Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing heating and cooling specialists Experts. That’s due to the fact they have an A+ when it includes helping homeowners like you select the best heat pump system for their home. 

But their service doesn’t stop with heat pump installation. We stand behind our work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* for a year, since we want you to enjoy the very best comfort you can get from your new heat pump. 

And keep in mind special offers, rebates and financing for qualified customers. Installing a new heat pump is even more economical than you might be aware. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to request your free home comfort assessment now! 

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >


  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!


  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.