Buying A Heat Pump? Here's What You Need To Know

When you're ready to upgrade your home’s heating and cooling system, you'll want to give careful consideration to selecting the right heat pump. During the heating season, an air-source heat pump draws heat energy from the outside air and transfers it to the inside of your home. In the summer, your heat pump operates in reverse, extracting heat from your home to keep you and your family cool and comfortable. A well-maintained air-source heat pump is about three times more efficient than a high-efficiency furnace, and is comparable to air conditioners in cooling efficiency. Efficiency, size and advanced features are factors you need to consider when buying a heat pump, in order to help you choose the best model for your home. 

Narrow your search by size 

The standard rule in the home comfort industry is that your home requires one ton of heating capacity for every 400 to 500 square feet of living space. While this formula can help you estimate your needs and narrow your search parameters, insulation levels, your home’s design and layout, and the local climate are also key factors. The best course is to have a trusted HVAC professional measure your home's heating and cooling loads, in order to calculate the right sized heat pump.

Check efficiency ratings 

Because heat pumps provide both cooling and heating, make sure you check the efficiency ratings for both functions. Cooling efficiency is rated as seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Look for a SEER rating of between 14 and 18 for decent efficiency and good performance. Heating efficiency is rated by the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), with the optimal rating being between 8 and 10. In addition, when buying a heat pump, choose a unit with at least a five-year warranty. 

Ask your HVAC expert about a variable-speed blower 

In order to maintain the desired temperatures using as little energy as possible, a variable-speed blower motor is preferable to the standard motor in air handlers or blowers, which only have one (high) speed. Variable-speed blowers usually run at a low but continuous speed that saves energy, provides more even heating and cooling and runs more quietly.

For more information about buying a heat pump, or other questions about your home comfort needs, please contact us at Joe Behr Plumbing & Heating. Located in Lexington, we have been providing quality service to 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.

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