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Selecting Heat Pump Features: A Guide For Mid-Ohio Homeowners

Recent technological advances have increased the number of heat pump features that make it possible to heat your home efficiently with these HVAC appliances, even in our cold Mid-Ohio winters. The only energy an air-source heat pump uses is electricity to create three times more heat from one unit of electricity. In the winter, heat pumps harvest the heat from the air outdoors and bring it inside. In the summer, they work like air conditioners, removing heat from your home.

When temperatures fall below freezing for extended periods, the efficiency of a standard air-source heat pump falls. However, the following heat pump features will help it produce sufficient heat to ensure your comfort during cold weather:

  • Scroll compressorThis type of compressor is able to pressurize the refrigerant so efficiently that the system can increase heat output 10 to 15 degrees warmer than a standard compressor. 
  • Two-stage thermostats. This type of thermostat keeps the supplemental heating coil inside the air-source heat pump from activating until a certain period of time has lapsed. If the pump can't provide the kind of heat you need, it will then turn the coil on. 
  • Dual-fuel system. These systems combine the efficiency of an air-source heat pump with a combustion furnace, using natural gas, propane or heating oil. When the temperatures fall below the 30s, and your heat pump begins struggling to extract heat from the outside air, the combustion furnace kicks in and provides your home with relatively inexpensive gas heat. These systems give you the best of both worlds in terms of energy efficiency, delivering the best comfort at the lowest price at any temperature. 
Choosing a heat pump with a scroll compressor increases its energy efficiency rating for heating, which is called the heating season performance factor (HSPF). The minimum standard is 7.7, with a maximum of 9.7. The minimum cooling efficiency is 13 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). 

If you would like to learn more about suitable heat pump features for our climate, please contact us at Joe Behr Plumbing & Heating. We've provided quality HVAC services for the Mid-Ohio area since 1965.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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