Selecting A New Heat Pump? Consider Efficiency Ratings And These 5 Features
by Greg Leisgang on July 24, 2012
Posted in: Heat Pumps
A new heat pump could provide you with the efficient heating and cooling you’ve been looking for. In the summer, a heat pump looks and acts like an air conditioner. In the winter, it operates in reverse, pulling heat from outdoor air and delivering it to the interior at 150 to 300 percent efficiency.
When shopping for a new system, relevant efficiency ratings to consider include Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). To select a high-efficiency unit, look for a SEER rating of 16 and an HSPF rating of at least 8.
In addition, consider the following five energy-saving, comfort-boosting features you'll want your new heat pump to have:
- Thermostatic expansion valve: More precise control of refrigerant flow is accomplished with this feature. With the ability to limit the flow of refrigerant when the weather is mild, you can save energy without sacrificing comfort.
- Variable-speed blower: This is far more efficient than a single-speed blower because it can operate at multiple speeds. The result: energy savings and reduced noise when the blower is operating at a lower speed.
- Two-speed compressor: Heat pumps with standard compressors can only operate at maximum capacity, but a two-speed compressor allows the unit to heat or cool only at the capacity needed. That way, the unit has longer, more efficient cycles that place less wear on the system.
- Scroll compressor: Unlike piston compressors, scroll compressors are better at forcing refrigerant into a smaller area. The benefits of this feature include a longer and quieter operating life, as well as air that is 10 to 15 degrees warmer in the winter.
- Desuperheater: During the summer, when the heat pump is in cooling mode, waste heat is utilized to heat your water. That means you essentially get free hot water in the summer if your heat pump has this feature.
Clearly, you will get the most out of your investment if your new heat pump comes with these advanced features. For more expert advice about selecting a heat pump and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Tri-County Heating & Cooling, serving Butler County and the Greater Cincinnati area.