A heat pump is like a conventional air conditioner except it also can provide heat in winter. This confuses people sometimes because it has “heat” in its name, but just remember it does cool the house. In the summer, the heat pump collects heat in winter. In the summer, the heat pump collects heat from the house and expels it outside. In the winter, the heat pump works best when the outdoor temperature is above freezing. Below that, supplementary heat often is needed. A heat pump can save 30 to 60 percent less energy to supply the same heat when compared to an electric furnace with a resistance heating element.